SAN DIEGO — Max Homa did what his beloved Los Angeles Dodgers couldn’t do in October — win in San Diego.
The Los Angeles-area native came within 5 shots of the lead to win the Farmers Insurance Open by 2 shots over Keegan Bradley on Saturday at Torrey Pines, where Jon Rahm broke out early and missed a shot to win his third straight start and move to no. 1 in the world.
Homa rolled with Sam Ryder trying to win a matchup, then held off Bradley and Colin Morikawa for his sixth PGA Tour victory and fourth in his home state. He took Genesis to Riviera in 2021 and won the Fortinet Championship at Napa in back-to-back years.
Homa closed with a 6-under 66 to finish at 13-under 275. He holed a 4-foot putt on No. 18 and pumped his right fist before greeting wife Lacey and young son Cam right on the green.
Homa was born in Burbank and lives in Valencia, north of LA. He played collegiately at Cal. He is a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dodgers, who lost to the San Diego Padres in the NL Division Series, with the decisive victory coming in San Diego. Homa said he heard a lot of mean talk from Padres fans this week, but didn’t respond, although he said his caddy, Joe Greiner, did.
“It’s good to win up and down the state of California and, you know, wear that LA logo on my head and in my heart, me and Joe,” Homa said. “I don’t answer to anybody in the crowd about the Dodgers-Padres stuff, but Joe does. So I enjoy listening to him talk nonsense to them.”
Many people know Homa as perhaps the funniest person on the tour on Twitter. “I’m a damn good golfer,” he said. “The results help you build that foundation. I mean, I like to say stupid things and make stupid jokes and observe weird things and tweet about it. You know, kid, I guess.
“But when I’m working, when I’m training and playing in tournaments, that’s what I love. I love what it was today. It was amazing. So I don’t think anything has changed too much. The confidence is becoming more and more stable.’
Bradley also shot a 66 on the South Course. Morikawa shot a 69 to finish at 10 under. Ryder fired a 75, his worst round of the week, and tied for fourth with Sahith Theegala (70) and Sungjae Im (70) at 9 under.
Rahm shot a 74, his worst round of the week, and tied for seventh at 8 under with Jason Day (68), a two-time winner at the Farmers. Rahm earned his first PGA Tour victory in 2017 and then won the 2021 US Open at the municipal course overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Ram won The American Express at PGA West last weekend and at the Sentry Tournament of Champions three weekends ago in Kapalua.
Homa, who played in the group ahead of Ryder, Rahm and Tony Finau, took the lead at 12 under when he holed a 16-foot putt on the par-3 16th after a 226-yard drive. Ryder, who was wearing purple joggers, had a double-bogey 6 on the 15th to drop to 10 under.
Homa played the front nine in 4 under and controlled the ball well enough to stay out of trouble, allowing his iron game to shine.
“You don’t have to be in the short grass all the time, but you have to be in it to make birdies,” Homa said. “My iron game has always been kind of the staple, I guess, of what I’m most proud of in my game, and it lends itself to that on this golf course.”
Ryder, who made his first hole-in-one of the tournament, was in a three-way tie for first after the first round and held sole possession of the lead after the second and third rounds. At 33, he’s still looking for his first tour win.
“Yeah, there was definitely a lot of new pressure, but it was fun,” Ryder said. “I was just trying to enjoy it. As you know, it was a good experience for me and I think it will only feed me.”
After making an impressive climb up the rankings on Friday to move into sole possession of second place, two shots behind Ryder, Rahm holed out at No. 1 and missed a quick putt by inches at No. 4 before his round fell apart at par-4 number 5.
Ram drove into a fairway bunker and then flew the green into the thick rough. It took him three shots to get out of trouble, and by the time he sank a nine-foot putt, he had slumped into a tie for fifth.
“I had a lot of bad breaks today,” Ram said. “I can guarantee you one thing, if you’re in the fairway, you’re not going to get bad shots. You just have to play better.”