Max Homa couldn't hide his emotions.
The SoCal native had won the Genesis Invitational before, two years ago, but this time, he'd finished runner-up by two shots to a red-hot Jon Rahm. He erased the three-shot lead that Rahm had entering Sunday's final round at Riviera, but Homa went birdie-less over his final eight holes while bogeying the par-4 13th hole with a tugged drive into a giant tree less than 190 yards from the tee box.
"I'm very proud," Homa said following his closing 3-under 68. "I did not have it off the tee today, but man, I fought. I really just wanted to push him..."
Homa had to pause.
"I don't know why this is happening now," Homa said. "I've been fine for 15 minutes."
Full-field scores from The Genesis Invitational
He then continued: "I wanted to make him beat me, and I think I did that. I let him off the hook on 13, but man, it was cool to see myself push him and not feel like I had 100% of my game. I played great everywhere but off the tee on that back nine, but it is what it is. I was going to have to put up a pretty remarkable score. I think it's pretty amazing going against someone like Jon. You know he's going to play well, so it's almost comforting knowing you're just going to have to play better, he's not going to fold.
"So, I'm not disappointed in my golf, I'm just disappointed in the ending."
Homa fielded a few more questions before his heart reappeared on his sleeve.
"It hurts me not to – when I won in '21, nobody was here, and it hurts me not to be able to do that with everyone here, my family and friends. But I tried, man," said Homa, his voice cracking. "Sorry, this tournament just means a lot to me. It's like an emotional release. But yeah, the support I get here is so cool.
"I'm going to win it again and be able to do it in front of all these people. Yeah, that's that."
If there was any consolation for Homa, though, not only did he collect $2.18 million, but he also moved into the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time, jumping to eighth.