Growing up in southern California, Max Homa viewed Riviera Country Club the same way Boston kids might view Fenway Park. It was the setting of many dreams as a young golfer.
There was – and is – no place more special, according to Homa.
“This is legitimately my Masters. Unless you put a golf tournament at my home course at Chica (Valencia, CA), I don’t think that there’s a place more special to me,” said Homa, who first played Riviera at the Nationals as a 21-year old.
While he didn’t grow up playing Riviera, Homa attended the annual PGA Tour stop in Pacific Palisades about 20 times – first visiting as a 2-year old with his father when the tournament was titled the Nissan Los Angeles Open.
Even Homa admitted that his young mind probably wouldn’t have mapped out the wild scenario that took place late on Sunday afternoon at Riviera.
“I think young me would have had a hard time dreaming this one. It was so fun to watch from the other side of the ropes. Even just playing every day I come here is kind of a pinch-me moment,” continued Homa.
“So when I saw my name up at the top of the leaderboard, it hit me, but it was helpful that I played well here last year and got to go through those emotions.”
Homa was asked what an 8-year old Max’s reaction would be to what unfolded today.
“Oh, man. I used to like the soft pretzels here a lot so he probably would have hoped that I’d buy a lot of them and eat a lot of them,” joked Homa.
He continued, “It’s truly a dream come true. My dad’s been bringing me here since I was basically a baby.
“Yeah, I think 8-year-old Max would be pretty darn proud.”