Max Homa hails his 'coolest ever' start to round of golf on Tiger Woods' return

Max Homa raced out of the blocks at the Tiger Woods' Genesis Invitational on the PGA Tour with an opening round of 7-under 64.

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 16 Feb 2023
Max Homa hails his 'coolest ever' start to round of golf on Tiger Woods' return

Max Homa says his opening hole at Tiger Woods' Genesis Invitational was the 'coolest way' he's ever begun a round of golf as he raced out of the blocks at Riviera. 

Homa knows this venue well having claimed his second PGA Tour victory here in February 2021. 

He's now got six titles and is in good position to claim his seventh after firing an opening round of 7-under 64. 

Related: Rory McIlroy's name butchered on first tee at Riviera

Homa's start was an entertaining one. The 32-year-old American started on the back nine and tried to drive the green at No. 10. 

His tee shot came up short and nestled in the thick rough at the 302-yard par-4. He then dumped his flop shot into the bunker. 

Homa was staring a bogey or worse in the face but then holed out to begin his round under par. 

He turned in 2-under 34, picked up strokes at No. 1 and No. 2 before finishing birdie-birdie-birdie to snatch the first round lead from Jon Rahm (65). 

Tiger Woods was making his comeback return to the PGA Tour, and like Homa, he finished with three straight birdies. 

You can check out the full R1 report of Woods' round here. 

Watch Homa's entertaining start here:

Homa said: 

"Yeah, that was cool. I told Joe [Greiner, his caddie] that was probably the coolest way I ever started a round because I hit a good drive and you were kind of praying.
"And I had a not-so-good lie in a not-so-great spot and I hit a pretty good flop shot, it came up a step or two short and now I'm staring bogey or worse in the face.
"But I thought I collected myself. I knew I hadn't done a whole lot wrong so trusted my bunker game. I hit a very good bunker shot, I will say, but that was a nice boost."

As for Rahm, he said the tournament felt like a major championship given the stacked field at the elevated event. 

His form has been ridiculous in 2023, having already won twice on the PGA Tour. Those victories were back-to-back. 

Is there anything sticking out for Rahm that isn't coming together as easily as everything else?

He said: 

"I'm playing good. I mean, the hard thing about golf is golf itself, right? It's just dealing with what part of the game is, right? I don't know what to tell you exactly."

Genesis Invitational leaderboard

Next page: Rory McIlroy admits he was wrong about LIV