GORDON SEAY PHOTO
Max Homa made himself at home in California, again.
The 32-year-old Homa, from Valencia and Cal, claimed his fourth PGA Tour victory in the Golden State when he shot six-under-par 66 to win the 71st Farmers Insurance Open by two strokes over Keegan Bradley on the South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Club in La Jolla.
“It’s always great to win here and I love this golf course, it suits my game,” said Homa, who claimed his sixth victory on the PGA Tour. “I saw Danielle Kang (of Pepperdine and Westlake Village) recently and she has six victories including a major, and I told her in a good-natured way that I’m going to catch her. This is six for me, but I still need that major.
“But this was cool and a great day, and I’m not gonna cry. I had to play catch-up from the start of the day and was able to do that. I just kept my head down and knew I was playing well, but it was a jolt to me when I looked at the scoreboard on the back nine and saw that I was tied for the lead.
“After that, I just tried to make as many birdies as a I could and was able to win in the end.”
Homa, who also won the Fortinet Championship at Silverado Resort in Napa in 2021 and 2022, and the 2021 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, started the final round of the Farmers five strokes behind but collected four birdies on the front nine and then sank birdie putts of 15 feet on the 16th hole and four feet on the last to nail down the victory.
Bradley, the 2011 PGA champion, collected four of his six birdies on the back nine in a bogey-free 66, while Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal made four birdies on the last four holes to cap a 69 and was one more back in third.
“When I chipped in (for birdie) on No. 13, I was trying to not look at leaderboards because I figured I was too far back to really push,” said Bradley, who captured the Zozo Championship early this season for his fifth victory on the PGA Tour.
“I mean, you can’t push on this course, so I didn’t want to feel like I had to push. Then when I chipped in there and I hit it to within a couple feet (for a birdie) on No. 14, I thought: ‘I’m ahead of these guys (physically on the golf course), so I can post something and who knows.’”
However, couldn’t catch Homa.
Sam Ryder, who held at least a share of the lead after opening with 64 until he made a double-bogey 6 on the 15th hole of the final round, closed with a 75 and finished four shots down in a tie for fourth with Sahith Theegala of Chino Hills and Pepperdine, who had three birdies on the back nine for a 70, and Sungjae Im of South Korea, who made two birdies on each nine in a 70.
“I just didn’t get it done,” said Ryder, whose two pro victories came in the 2017 Pinnacle Bank Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour and the 2015 National Capital Open to Support Our Troops on the PGA Tour Canada. “I played well on the front nine, but hit some bad shots, had a couple of bad breaks and just didn’t make enough birdies.
“It is what it is, I battled as hard as I could, and I will learn from this.”
Tournament favorite and third-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, who won his last two starts and four of his last six, struggled to a 74 in the final threesome and wound up five strokes behind in a tie for seventh with two-time Farmers champion Jason Day of Australia, who birdied the last two holes for a 68.
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, the 2021 Masters champion, collected six birdies on the front nine to move into contention, but had three bogeys on the back in a 69 and finished six shots back in a tie for ninth with Tony Finau, who had three birdied on the back nine but closed with a 73.
Sixth-seeded Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State birdied the last hole for a 72 and tied for 14th, ninth-seeded Justin Thomas birdied three of his last four holes to cap another 72 and wound up in a tie for 25th that included defending champion Luke List, who also had a 72.
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