The hometown advantage propelled Max Homa to victory at the Genesis Invitational at Pacific Palisades, Calif., as the Los Angeles-area native got the best of Tony Finau on the second playoff hole Sunday, Feb. 21.
Born in nearby Burbank, Homa grew up just north of Los Angeles in Valencia and was a frequent visitor to Riviera Country Club in his youth to watch the tournament won on Sunday in dramatic fashion. It was his second career victory after winning the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C., in 2019.
After Homa scrambled for par while up against a tree at No. 10 to match Finau on the first playoff hole, he delivered a two-putt par at the par-3 14th hole. Finau found the bunker off the tee and failed to get up and down, missing a 10-foot par putt to give Homa the victory.
Homa, who received the winner's trophy from tournament host Tiger Woods, had a chance to take the tournament on the 72nd hole, but his 3-foot birdie putt on 18 for the victory missed on the left edge of the cup and led to the playoff.
Homa, a longtime fan of Los Angeles' Lakers and Dodgers, had received a call of congratulations from former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda following his first PGA Tour victory. Lasorda passed away in January.
"I have been watching this tournament my whole life, and it is why I fell in love with golf," Homa said on the CBS broadcast, near tears as his voice cracked. "... Tiger is another reason I'm into golf. I had good feelings this week and I have been playing great. It's the city of champions, Dodgers, Lakers and me now. It's a weird feeling."
Homa was two shots off Sam Burns' lead when the final round began and posted a bogey-free 5-under 66 (12-under, 272 total), only to be matched at 12 under by a 64 from Finau, who had eight birdies and a bogey.
Burns fell out of the lead for the first time since Thursday's opening round when he found a fairway bunker at the par-4 15th hole and finished with a bogey. He slipped to 10 under for the tournament as Finau and Homa vaulted into the lead.