Max Homa has joked about gaining that perspective since becoming a dad last October. But he couldn’t help but get emotional Saturday evening after winning the Farmers Insurance Open.
It was his sixth career PGA Tour victory, but his first since becoming a father.
“I am not going to cry today,” Homa said during his post-round interview with CBS reporter Amanda Renner.
Homa quickly shifted to telling a quick story about making a birdie during Friday’s third round, and how Homa’s caddie, Joe Greiner, reminded his boss that it was the first birdie that Homa had made in front of his son, Cam, who was born in October.
“Way to make a birdie for him,” Homa recalled Greiner saying.
Homa followed with seven more birdies, including one at the par-5 18th hole, as Homa closed in 6-under 66 to top a strong leaderboard at Torrey Pines. He finished two shots clear of runner-up Keegan Bradley as Collin Morikawa, Sungjae Im, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama and Tony Finau were among those to crack the top 10.
As Homa reiterated Saturday, he's in the same conversation as those aforementioned stars.
He isn’t just the social media guy; “I still think I'm a pretty darn good golfer,” he argued.
“I do like to say dumb things and make dumb jokes and observe weird stuff and tweet about it like, you know, a kid, I guess,” Homa added. “But when I work, when I practice, when I play tournaments … this is what I love.”
And Homa works pretty darn hard at it, too – perhaps even harder now that he’s Cam’s dad.
Full-field scores from the Farmers Insurance Open
Let Homa explain...
“I've joked about it all afternoon, but I really, I want to win when he remembers it,” Homa said. “However, when you have a kid as a professional athlete, you hear so many times the noise, Oh, you're not going to have the same time, this, that or whatever. But I've been so fortunate that my wife just seems to handle everything so easily. She had a horrendous birth; it did not go well. It was the scariest – hard to say because it was an amazing day, get a new son, Cam. It was the worst day ever at the same time. I thought … whatever. So, she's just made everything so easy. And I still go practice, but I think I just manage my time a bit better.
“I guess to your question, it's a little different because I feel like I've almost worked harder for this because I want to spend as much time as I possibly can helping her and being with Cam and doing all the cool things, catching some smiles here and there and getting screamed at. But I also want to be the best golfer on the planet, and she knows that, and she just does an amazing job letting me do both, especially when she's here on the road and when I'm home. So yeah, I work hard at two things now, so it feels a little bit more difficult, but it's a million times more rewarding. To see them behind the 18th green knowing I was probably about to win a golf tournament was cool.
“Like I say, he has no idea what I did, but I will tell him this story ad nauseam, and he will probably think I'm the worst for it, but this will be my corny dad story that I will tell every Thanksgiving or something.”
In between helpings of perspective, of course.