SAN FRANCISCO — Max Homa birdied on the 72nd hole Sunday, Sept. 18 to win the Fortinet PGA Tour Championship for a second straight year as Danny Willett crumbled on the final hole.
Homa shot a four-under 68 at the Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif., his 16-under total of 272 giving him a one-shot victory over England’s Willett, who missed a birdie putt of 31/ 2 feet in the 18th which would have given him the victory.
“It was kind of a wild finish,” Homa said. “The last three minutes are a little blurry. But I played really good golf. I played solid.”
Willett remains in search of his first PGA Tour title since his triumph at the 2016 Masters, although he has won twice since then on the DP World Tour.
He took a one-stroke lead with a birdie in the 14th, where he drained a 15-foot putt from the fringe after an impressive approach shot from behind a tree.
He appeared to be in control on the par-five 18, where he landed his third 66-yard shot within four feet of the pin while Homa was in a short bunker and left of the green.
Homa’s bunker shot didn’t reach the green, settling in a mowed ditch below the putting surface, but his chip took a few short hops and rolled into the cup.
“I expected him to do it, but it’s still a bit of a shock when it happens,” said Willett, who had an outstanding putt all week from less than 10 feet but didn’t. could not make his little birdie for the victory.
He burned the left edge and failed to drop, and he missed the four-footer that also came back in the way of a three-under 69 that gave him a total of 15-under 273.
“A disappointing way to end, but you know, first out of the season, to be in contention, things are going well. We’ll live to fight another day,” Willett said.
American Taylor Montgomery, making his fifth tour start, defied the rainy and cold conditions with eight birdies in an eight-under 64 to finish third on 275.
“Just a huge week,” Montgomery said. “I don’t know anything about the PGA Tour and points and stuff like that, but I know top 10 or top 5 is very important, especially for a guy in my position.”
Chip on the shoulder
Overnight leader Justin Lower scored a 73 out of 73 to share fourth place out of 276 with South Korean An Byeong-hun, who signed for a 71.
Homa’s victory at Silverado was one of his final two seasons, and his defense is a warm-up for next week’s Presidents Cup match play showdown in North Carolina.
Homa admitted he was happy to silence critics suggesting he made USA captain Davis Love’s team only because big names were ineligible after he defected to the LIV Golf Series.
“Honestly, I’ve had a lot of people – I know it’s just Twitter but I’ve had people tell me that if the LIV guys hadn’t left, I wouldn’t have been a part of it. of the Presidents Cup team,” said Homa. “So I got a little chip on my shoulder this week.” AFP