Max Homa defeats Tony Finau in a playoff to capture Genesis Invitational 2021
Max Homa won the Genesis Invitational 2021 in the most dramatic way possible.
First, he missed a 3-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for the win. Then on the first playoff hole, he appeared to have no chance when his tee shot settled inches from a tree. But he somehow escaped to extend the playoff and won it on the next hole when hard-luck Tony Finau failed to save par from a bunker on the par-3 14th.
The 30-year old Homa, who joined Finau at 12-under 272, won for the second time on the PGA Tour. On the other hand, Finau, seeking a first PGA Tour win since 2016, had matched him on 12 under after a closing 64 at storied Riviera but lost the game at the second playoff.
Sam Burns, who led from day one into the back nine on Sunday, closed with a 69 to finish third at 11-under.
Homa, who grew up in Los Angeles and watched the Genesis Invitational growing up, was emotional after his victory, “I’ve been watching this tournament my whole life,” Homa said, choking back emotions before he said, “Wow. I didn’t think it would be like this. … The city of Champions — Dodgers, Lakers, me now. It’s a weird feeling.”
“You’re not supposed to miss a 3-footer in front of Tiger Woods,” Homa said. “I saw him yesterday and was too scared to talk to him. But he’s forced to talk to me now.”
Tournament host Tiger Woods provided an update about his health and his plans for The Masters.
"God, I hope so," Woods said when CBS' Jim Nantz asked him if he would be at The Masters. "I've got to get there first. A lot of it's based on my surgeons and my doctors and my therapists and making sure I do it correctly. This is the only back I've got, so I don't have much more wiggle room left."
The victory allowed Homa to get inside the top 50 in the world for the first time in his career, making him eligible for the World Golf Championship next week and get him back to the Masters.