After finishing just a couple of shots inside the cut line after two rounds in the opening event of the 2021 – 2022 PGA Tour season, Max Homa fired a pair of seven under 65’s for a total of 19 under par 269 to win the Fortinet Championship by a stroke over runner up Maverick McNealy. Homa was three shots better than the rest of the field over the final two rounds at the par 72 Silverado Resort and Spa North Course in Napa California to pick up his third Tour victory and second in the last eight months.
The 30-year-old out of the University of California – Berkeley collected $1,260,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points for the win
Taking an early lead in the standings heading into an off week while teams from the United States and Europe square off in the 43rd Ryder Cup. The Fortinet Championship is the first of nine tournaments to be contested in the current calendar year before another 38 events take place in 2022.
Chez Reavie led after the first round of the tournament with Homa one of six players two shots behind, but ballooned to a 75 in round two after going four over par on a three hole stretch on the back nine while Homa’s 72 left him seven shots behind McNealy, who followed up an opening round 68 with an eight under par 64 for a two stroke lead heading into the weekend. Homa tied for the best round of the day on Saturday with his first of two consecutive 65’s to get within two shots of third round leaders McNealy and Jim Knous, who also vaulted up the leaderboard with a 65.
Homa made pars on his first five holes on Sunday but then caught fire with birdies on three of the final four holes on his front nine before making a bogey on the tenth hole. At the par four eleventh, he found the rough off the tee but proceeded to hole out for an eagle on his second shot and made three birdies on the way in, including on the 72nd hole after sinking an 18 foot putt to secure the win.
Finishing in third place by himself at 16 under par 272 was up and coming Chilean Mito Pereira after closing with a 68, followed by Marc Leishman and Talor Gooch in a tie for fourth with 15 under par scores of 273. Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama closed with a six under par 66 to climb 26 spots in the standings after the third round to finish with four other players to round out the top ten finishers.
Ryder Cup Vice Captain and reigning PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson created some buzz by climbing into contention after a five under par 67 on Saturday, but he could manage just a single birdie on Sunday and faded to a 36th place tie after a disappointing three over par 75. Reavie never recovered from his second round debacle and finished tied for 28th while Knous struggled to a 74 on Sunday to complete the tournament in a tie for 11th place.