Max Homa flew about 10,000 miles to play in a golf tournament and will come home a winner.
The 32-year-old Homa, from Valencia and Cal, closed with a bogey-free, six-under-par 66 to beat Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark by four strokes in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa.
“It’s been a dream 10 or 11 days,” said Homa, who claimed his ninth victory as a professional and first on the DP World Tour. “It was a crazy day. I got off to such a great start and Thorbjørn (Olesen) was playing unbelievable golf. He kept pushing us along and Nicolai was playing phenomenal golf so it was fun. It’s kind of what you dream of, as you want to be in the fight and it was fun to close it out at the end.
“It was an awkward putt on No. 16. My speed was great for the first three days. I don’t know if it was nerves or if my speed was just awful all day today. That one wasn’t very good either, but it hit the back of the cup, thankfully.
“It’s been tremendous to get to travel to a new place, meet so many amazing people and the fans have been amazing. Everyone has been so welcoming and kind. To come out with a trophy is just a cherry on top.”
Homa, who is No. 8 in the World Golf Rankings, posted four rounds in the 60s and made three birdies on each nine in his closing 66 to record a score of 19-under-par 269, while Hojgaard finished with a 68 that included eight birdies and two bogeys.
Oleson, also from Denmark, shot 69 with eight birdies and was five shots back in solo third, followed by Justin Thomas, whose 66 with seven birdies left him seven back, and Dan Bradbury, whose second straight 71 with six birdies put him eight down in solo fifth.
Rasmus Hojgaard of Denmark made six birdies and one bogey in a 67 and wound up nine behind in a tie for sixth with Hennie Du Plessis of South Africa, who had two late birdies for another 67, and Sebastian Soderberg of Sweden, who closed with a third straight 70.
Ryo Hisatsune of Japan had two birdies and two bogeys in a 72 to finish 10 back in solo ninth, and Aaron Rai of England made four birdies and a bogey in his 69 to come in 11shots down in a tie for 10th with Alexander Bjork of Sweden, who had three birdies in a 70.
Two-time defending champion Tommy Fleetwood of England salvaged a 72 in the final round to tie for 12th, while Sean Crocker of Westlake Village and USC tied for 21st following a 71 that included four birdies.
For complete results, visit: https://www.europeantour.com/dpworld-tour/nedbank-golf-challenge-2023/leaderboard