Bryce Miller: Final-round chaos and queasiness ends with Max Homa's victory at Farmers Insurance Open

Bryce Miller, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Golf

SAN DIEGO — The Farmers Insurance Open decided to embrace its breathtaking oceanside address and make everyone seasick during Saturday’s frenetic final round. Green-to-the gills ill, in fact, as all that leaderboard churn required an unblinking attention span and fistful of Dramamine.

It’s all Merlot-cap-tipping, fuchsia-adjacent-joggers-wearing Sam Ryder and Max Homa for hours, right? Wait, is that two-time Farmers winner Jason Day charging toward the top like a grumpy rhino?

Here comes win-starved fan favorite Rickie Fowler … and there he goes. Is that Keegan Bradley draining three birdie putts in a five-hole stretch to rise from the pretzeled humanity in chase? Welcome to the chaos, Sungjae Im. Thanks for stopping by the house party, Hideki Matsuyama.

When Collin Morikawa threatened to fist-pump his shoulder out of socket as he soared to 10-under on No. 16, the surfboard-snatching combinations in play would cause a safe cracker to sweat.

In the end, Homa — a San Diego-loving, Padres-loathing player seemingly destined to become the PGA Tour’s comedic voice — buckled in tightest, held on longest and withstood the rising and crashing competitive waves to become a Farmers champion.

It was his sixth victory on Tour with two-thirds of those coming in his native California.


“Everybody else looks at me as a social media guy, but I’m a pretty darn good golfer,” said Homa, who began the day five strokes back and won by two at 13-under. “The results help you kind of build that foundation. I mean, I like to say dumb things and make dumb jokes and observe weird stuff and tweet about it. You know, kid, I guess.

“But when I work, when I practice and I play tournaments, this is what I love. I love what today was. It was incredible.”

The ride became a white-knuckler on the back nine of Torrey Pines’ routinely ruthless South Course. Putts lipped out. Others crawled to the edge, waited for full theatrical affect, then tumbled in as fans roared.

Fates confidently strolled the center of shamrock-green fairways one minute, then duck-hooked into canyons the next.


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