Max Homa, this week's defending champion of the PGA Tour's Wells Fargo Championship, explained his complicated feelings regarding the sport he now makes his job.
Homa, who won the Wells Fargo Championship by two strokes last year as it was played at TPC Potomac, said playing golf professionally is an "abusive relationship."
The 32-year-old first turned professional back in 2013, and won his maiden PGA Tour victory at the Wells Fargo Championship back in 2019.
He's since won five more PGA Tour events to bring his career total up to six, including two tournaments already this season.
He won the first tournament of the 2022-23 season, the Fortinet Championship in his home state of California, and then quickly followed it up with an impressive performance at the Presidents Cup as he helped the Americans defeat the International team.
He then later won the Farmers Insurance Open in January and is currently one of just four multiple-event winners so far in the 2022-23 PGA Tour season.
And back at Quail Hollow this week in North Carolina ahead of his title defence, Homa explained his complicated relationship with "loving" golf.
When asked why he loved it, Homa said:
"What's funny is I think when I was a kid I truly loved golf. I'm not so sure I love golf anymore, but I love competing and getting better so much, so golf provides the platform for that."
Later, he further elaborated on his current relationship with the sport:
"I love so much of this game and I'm obsessed with it, but when I compare it to like loving other things, it's just different.
"This game, this game beats you over the head so much, it's an abusive relationship. I give it everything I possibly have and then I have days and weeks where I just feel like it hates me.
"It's quite similar to like the very beginning of parenthood when your kid's like a month old and he's just screaming at you and you're just loving it so much and it's not giving you anything back except literally poop. That would be how I would put golf sometimes.
"But I wouldn't trade my job for anything in the world, so I feel very thankful. I think that like boyish love I had when I was a kid is different now and I understand it for what it is a bit more.
"Yeah, it's the funny part about playing a sport as your job, it's a game, but we unfortunately complicate it so much that we consider it work at times. I think when we play our best is when we look at it as a game a bit. It's a constant, constant battle."
Homa will tee off at 12:23 p.m. GMT+1 on Thursday for the first round alongside Patrick Cantlay and Sahith Theegala.
Tiger Woods' long-time caddie, Joe LaCava, is expected to be on the bag for Cantlay this week in North Carolina and for the next while as Woods is currently recovering from ankle surgery.
Related: Tiger Woods season looks over as caddie picks up new bag on PGA Tour
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