Player Diary: California's Max Homa (Part 7)
Hey there golf fans!
I hope everyone has been doing well and that you all were able to watch plenty of golf this week. The Golden Bears didn’t have much time to watch much golf, but we sure played a lot. Monday and Tuesday of this past week we were in Fresno, Calif., for the Fresno State Lexus Golf Classic.
It was an honor being there because it was Coach Watney’s last home tournament of his illustrious career at Fresno State University. He is a great coach and a class act so it was special being there to commemorate him. As for the tournament, we had another great team effort. For the second tournament in a row, we had the top three individual finishers in the event. Michael Kim won yet another tournament and continued his stellar play.
The course was not particularly long, which meant there were plenty of birdies to be made. I feel like the team did a great job of being patient and taking advantage of opportunities when they arose rather than forcing the issue too much, which is a common occurrence on that type of course. I was glad that we played well in Fresno because it was close to school, and it is teammate Michael Weaver’s hometown so there were a lot of people who came out to watch him. It’s always nice to play well in front of friends and family.
After the tournament, we didn’t spare much time heading off to the next one. In fact, we drove back to school Tuesday night and left for Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon. Talk about a crazy two days. Not to mention, lately I have been doing laundry way more than any other 22-year-old college student does.
Going to Vegas for the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters is always so exciting. First of all, the field is stacked. 12 of the top 13 teams in the country were present, which meant there were plenty of the top amateurs in the world in the field. Also, the course is immaculate and hard as can be. Fast greens, thick rough, wind, and length. It is all a recipe for a grind. Finally, what is great about playing in this event is how great everyone treats the teams. The golf course’s staff and the volunteers really make you feel at home. They do an amazing job running a flawless event. It’s a shame I will not be attending next year, but a big thanks to everyone there for the past three years.
Going into the tournament, I had the mindset that birdies would be scarce. However, through the first eight holes the course was surprisingly receptive. Right when I thought that this year would be less of a grind, it literally started hailing, dropped about 15 degrees in temperature, and the wind picked up; so much for great scores. Those last 10 holes were as tough as can be. After the round, I was really impressed with the way our team held steady and worked hard to make the most of the conditions. Coach continued to instill the idea that big numbers were at every hole so we needed to remain disciplined. What I have learned about this course is that par is awesome. Take it and run to the next hole. The next two rounds were more of the same, however it did warm up a bit. We built a large lead, but apparently had it cut to only a few strokes during the early stages of the final round. Fortunately, everyone continued to plug along and we turned around our sluggish start. In the end, we came away with a win, which was very sweet for us because of our heartbreak from the previous two years. It is very important to us to play well in such a great field at such a great course. I am glad we did not let the adversity get to us since I’m sure that will be a major aspect of finding success at NCAAs.
Also, shout out to Patrick Rodgers winning individually. That kid is good.
Finally, I am back at school with a three-week break from tournaments. We plan to continue to practice and work out while we catch up with school. It’s currently midterm season so feel free to send me care packages with tissues and anti-depressants. Or maybe some thin mints.
Hopefully everyone is as stoked as I am about the time change. Longer days with more golf! It doesn’t get much better than that.