Max Homa birdied the 72nd hole on Sunday to win the PGA Tour Fortinet Championship for the second year in a row when Danny Willett collapsed on the final hole.
Homa fired a four-under par 68 at Silverado Resort in Napa, California, his 16-under total of 272, earning him a one-time win over England’s Willett, who birdie putt three three at age 18. and missed half a foot which would have given him the victory.
“It was a bit of a wild finish,” Homa said. “The last three minutes are a bit hazy. But I played golf really well. I played solid.”
Willett continues to hunt for his first US PGA Tour title since his Masters triumph in 2016, although he has won twice on the DP World Tour since then.
He took a one-shot lead with a birdie on the 14th, where he drove a putt 15 feet from the rim after an impressive approach shot from behind a tree.
He appeared to be in the lead by the par-five 18th where he landed his third shot from 66 yards less than six feet from the pin while Homa was in a bunker short and left of the green.
Homa’s bunker shot failed to reach the green and landed in a mowed swath below the putting surface, but his chip took a few small jumps and rolled into the cup.
“I expected him to do it, but then it’s still a bit of a shock when it happens,” said Willett, who had excellent putts from within 10 feet all week but couldn’t make his short birdie for the win. to make.
It burned the left rim and failed to fall, and he missed the four-legged friend who also returned on his way to a three-under par 69 giving him a 15-under total of 273.
“Disappointing way to finish, but you know, first of the season, to be in the fight, things are in a good place. We will live to fight another day,” Willett said.
American Taylor Montgomery, who started his fifth tour, braved the rainy, chilly conditions with eight birdies in an eight-under64 to finish third at 275.
“Just a huge week,” Montgomery said. “I don’t know about the PGA Tour and points and things like that, but I know the top-10 or top-five is really big, especially for a guy in my place.”
– Chip on shoulder –
Overnight leader Justin Lower mapped a one-over 73 to tie for fourth place out of 276 with South Korean An Byeong-hun, who scored a 71.
Homa’s win over Silverado was one of his two wins last season, and his defense is a warm-up for next week’s Presidents Cup game in North Carolina.
Homa admitted he was delighted to silence critics who suggested he only got into US captain Davis Love’s squad because of the big names who didn’t qualify after defecting to the fledgling LIV Golf Series.
“Frankly, 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 made it to the Presidents Cup team,” Homa said. .
“So I had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder this week.”