Can Homa take it home?

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Playing in the final pairing Saturday, Max Homa will be under the brightest of spotlights. M. James Ward outlines the stakes involved.
Posted on
April 13, 2024
by
M. James Ward in ,
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

AUGUSTA, GA. The ultimate barometer for greatness is judged through the performance in major championships. Saturday's third round features a golfer known to many but a total stranger when the most significant events are staged.

Max Homa has won six times on the PGA TOUR. The 33-year-old is ranked 11th in the world and qualified on points to play as a member of the 2023 USA Ryder Cup team.

Quite impressive.

There's just one thing missing.

Max Homa has been a ghost when major championships are played.

This year's Masters marks his 18th event played. What's been the record to date?

Nine missed cuts and just one top ten finish that happened at last year's Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

To say that record is one of underachievement would be a fair assessment.

Homa earlier this year won The Farmers event at Torrey Pines. His ability to garner trophy hardware in the Golden State is remarkable with four of the six coming there.

When Homa tees off with co-leader Bryson DeChambeau the stakes will rise dramatically.

Over the past several years Max has built a fan base given his self-effacing demeanor - particularly in the commercials he's appeared.

The issue that's emerged is whether he has the focused resolve to secure his greatest golf triumph.

Playing Augusta National has not proven itself to be a recipe for him in the past. This is his 5th Masters and he has never finished better than 43rd. Unless the bottom totally falls out he's likely going to better that mark.

In this year's event he is one of only two players to have shot under-par in each of the first two rounds. His 138 total for two rounds in a major is also the lowest he's ever scored.

Success professionally comes with various bench marks reached. The first is securing PGA TOUR membership. The second comes from being able to make cuts on a fairly consistent basis. The next comes with being able to get into contention and then ultimately being able to win. The final hurdle is the hardest of all – getting into contention in a major championship and for a certain few – taking home the grand prize.

For many PGA TOUR members the major championships are simply elusive. The fields are the deepest, the talent level the highest and the scrutiny from media and golf fans the most intense. Some are simply unable to adjust to the circumstances presented.

Mediocrity becomes their permanent home.

Max is a likeable sort and many fans have embraced his endearing manner. The flip side is critics have labeled him unable to take his game up to where it needs to be to win at the highest of high levels.

Saturday at the Masters is often referred to as "moving day." Homa now has a platform to show the moment is not too big for him to handle.

The big question is will Homa feel at home for Saturday's third round with Bryson?

Defining moments are called that for a reason.

That moment starts Saturday at 2:45 PM for Max.

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About M. James Ward

A GWAA and MGWA member, the 66-year-old from the USA has covered golf in all facets since 1980, notably the major championships and other high level events. He has played over 2,000 courses globally and has competed in USGA Championships.

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