Max Homa makes cheeky joke at LIV star's expense ahead of Genesis Invitational

Reflecting on his previous victory at the Genesis Invitational, Max Homa poked fun at one of Liv's biggest stars and his absence this week.

Max Homa
Max Homa

Never one to shy away from a joke, Max Homa's sense of humour was in fine form during his media interview ahead of the opening round of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club.

The California native has fond memories of the venue where he won in 2022, and when asked about how it felt to return as a former champion, he made a cheeky dig at Jon Rahm's absence, claiming he was effectively "double defending because I'm like the last champion that's still here". 

Rahm was victorious at Riviera Country Club in 2023, pipping Homa to victory by two shots.

However, since joining LIV Golf for a reported $600m in December 2023, he won't be returning to defend his title.

While Homa's comments were clearly intended for comedic value, he did go on to discuss his 2023 battle with Rahm, speaking highly of the two-time major champion.

He said:

"I remember how fun it was, it really was. I'm enamoured by Jon's golf game, he's just tremendous.
"I just remember telling myself Sunday, he had a lead, I didn't play well Saturday, kept myself in the final group but I didn't play well and he played awesome, like really awesome.
"But as of last year he was going to be the No. 1 player in the world, it was fun to really battle with somebody who's the best player in the world."

Despite being bested on the day, Homa claimed that his battle with Rahm will be a story he will reflect on in his twilight years. 

He added:

"I do think when I'm older sitting in a rocking chair telling stories to people that don't want to listen to me that will be one that comes out."

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm

While Rahm will be absent from the Genesis Invitational this week, the idea of a potential return for LIV Golfers to the PGA Tour has been a topic of hot debate in recent weeks.

While Rory McIlroy has stated he backs a seamless path back for LIV players, having U-turned on his initial thoughts, many PGA Tour players, including Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler, don't believe it should be quite so simple. 

In a recent interview, Thomas claimed he didn't believe "they should be able to come back easily", and those sentiments were echoed by Scheffler when he said: "There should be some sort of caveat to them getting back on our Tour."

Homa was questioned about whether or not equity groups, new investments and the future of golf dominate his brain space, but by all accounts, it looks like his focus is purely on his own game.

He said:

"About one out of 100 I would say. My focus is on hopefully being a part of a group of golfers who can entertain the fans best we can. All that stuff's great, it's way over my head, it's above my pay grade."

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