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    Why does Max Homa love golf? It is sophisticated — and heartbreaking

    Max Homa on the Wells Fargo Championship earlier this week.

    getty photos

    “I’ve by no means been requested that earlier than,” Justin Thomas stated at his Tuesday-afternoon press convention on the Wells Fargo Championship, in Charlotte. “That’s an important query.”

    Different gamers acquired the question, too. Two extra, to be actual: Xander Schaufelle and Max Homa.

    Why do you’re keen on golf?

    Which may sound like a foolish factor to ask such an achieved group of gamers. However, as Thomas rightly famous, it’s not. For one factor, there’s no straightforward out. A easy “sure” or “no” received’t do, nor will a canned reply that golf followers have heard dozens of occasions earlier than. For an additional factor, the query will not be solely private but in addition so optimistic in its framing {that a} participant has no selection however to dig in and supply a substantive response. Introspection required!

    Schauffele, a seven-time Tour winner and Olympic gold medalist, was up first.

    In brief, Schauffele stated, he loves the number of the sport.

    Sure, he acknowledged, there are repetitive components — “the physios, the vary periods, the teaching, all that stuff feels the identical week in and week out; I can see that getting tiresome as you become older,” he stated — however on the course each shot is totally different, each swing or stroke a brand new problem.

    “Up in opposition to a root, you hit a tree, it goes out of bounds, you hit a cart path, you hit it within the bunker, it plugs within the lip,” he stated. “You’re taking part in exterior, and there’s so many variables that come into play and it’s an eternal problem.”

    Thomas, who has 15 Tour wins, together with a pair of main titles, was subsequent.

    “I like the person a part of it,” he stated. “I like that there’s no one in charge or no one to choose you up or nobody to carry you down aside from your self. I like the truth that you’ll be able to simply exit and get it. It’s discovering what it is advisable to get higher at, it’s the problem of attempting to get higher.

    Max Homa is this month's GOLF cover star.

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    “I simply, I like every thing about it. There’s nothing higher than whenever you put numerous onerous work in and also you begin to see it paying off and also you get your self in competition in a giant match like this or in a serious championship and also you execute these pictures and make these putts and deal with that second like you realize you’ll be able to, and the way you’ve been practising and also you pull it off and also you’re the one holding the trophy, that’s why I like golf.”

    Nice stuff, proper? As if it had been ripped from the pages of a movie script.

    Thomas’ response was harking back to the musings of Phil Mickelson, who at a press convention years in the past opened up about his personal ardour for the sport: “I like every thing about it. I like the problem internally of simply taking part in in opposition to a course and attempting to win in opposition to a course like Outdated Man Par Bobby Jones used to speak about. I like the solitude of taking part in on my own out within the night or practising. I like taking part in with my household and pals and having that camaraderie. I like the competitiveness and the smack speak, pleasant video games are available in play, and I like the match competitors. I like every thing about it.”

    See? Good subject!

    Lastly, it was Homa’s flip.

    If you realize solely just a little one thing about Homa, it’s probably by social media, the place he’s as fast to playfully zing one in all his follower’s swings and as he’s to take a self-deprecating shot at himself. That jokey persona isn’t actually Homa, although. Or at the very least it’s not all of him. When he’s away from his cellphone, he’s a thinker, a fierce competitor and an endlessly onerous employee. These six PGA Tour titles of his, the latest coming at Torrey Pines in January, didn’t simply fall into his lap.     

    Homa grew up in L.A. and realized the sport from his father, John, who would take younger Max to beat balls on the no-frills double-decker vary at Griffith Park. That basis led Max to a glittering SoCal junior profession that may land him on the College of California-Berkley golf group. At the moment, he lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., together with his spouse Lacey, toddler son Cam and canine Scotty. He loves the Lakers and Dodgers and Tiger Woods.

    We offer you this context as a result of when Homa was requested the L-question Tuesday, he went deep. Like, actually deep. And the extra you realize about Homa, the extra you’ll respect the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of his response.

    Max Homa took a little bit of an extra time on his par putt on No. 13 in his Round of 16 match Saturday.

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    “I believe once I was a child I actually beloved golf,” Homa started. “I’m not so positive I like golf anymore, however I like competing and getting higher a lot, so golf supplies the platform for that. Individuals ask that [question] another way quite a bit, however like golf is a job now. However once I’m dwelling and I take into consideration like final week, like I practiced a lot and one of many members at Whisper Rock requested me like on Sunday, he stated, it is advisable to take a day without work. I instructed him, I used to be prefer it’s not the golf that I miss, however I need to preserve getting higher at one thing and that is the factor I’m the very best at, so that is what I’m going to work at.”

    Homa wasn’t finished.

    “I like that golf provides me an avenue to be obsessive over one thing and dedicate myself in direction of one thing. I might say now that again once I was a child I beloved golf as a result of it was a approach to hang around with my pals and attempt to make an eagle or a birdie after which wig out for just a few weeks. Now we’ve finished a lot within the recreation that sadly a tremendous 7-iron doesn’t make me as pleased because it used to, which is gloomy. However I don’t know, I might be obsessive about one thing else if I didn’t have this. And I’m grateful I’ve this as a result of I’ve route, so I do love that about what golf is giving me in the mean time.”

    What a solution. Wittingly or not, Homa had delivered a snapshot of his life in 255 phrases. Like a superb nation track, it had a little bit of every thing: reflection, honesty, heartbreak. (That 7-iron line obtained me.) Most essential, the query extracted from Homa one thing golf followers had by no means heard him say. It helped us higher perceive him and his relationship with the sport.

    Later in his presser, Homa was requested whether or not he nonetheless feels “a way romance” concerning the recreation. He does, he stated — continuously. For example, he cited the feelings he felt as he walked up the 18th fairway within the remaining spherical of the Wells Fargo in 2019, simply moments earlier than he closed out his first Tour victory.

    In fact, romance and real love aren’t the identical factor.

    “Yeah, it’s not that I don’t love golf in any respect,” Homa stated. “However, you realize, it’s not an unconditional love.”

    Alan Bastable Editor

    As’s govt editor, Bastable is chargeable for the editorial route and voice of one of many recreation’s most revered and extremely trafficked information and repair websites. He wears many hats — enhancing, writing, ideating, creating, daydreaming of at some point breaking 80 — and feels privileged to work with such an insanely gifted and hardworking group of writers, editors and producers. Earlier than grabbing the reins at, he was the options editor at GOLF Journal. A graduate of the College of Richmond and the Columbia College of Journalism, he lives in New Jersey together with his spouse and foursome of children.

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