Max Homa won the Farmers Insurance Open Saturday as Sam Ryder, who led throughout the $8.7-million tournament, faltered late to fall into a tie for fourth.
Homa, tied with three others at five strokes back entering the final round, had four birdies on the front nine at the Torrey Pines Golf Course to set himself up to overtake Ryder.
It’s a situation in which the Southern California native has excelled before – he trailed as the last round began in his four of his five PGA Tour wins prior to this weekend.
Make it five. Homa, who will take home almost $1.6 million for the win, added three more birdies, including two on the 16th and 18th holes as Ryder struggled. He shot a 6-under 66 to finish two strokes ahead of Keegan Bradley and three in front of Collin Morikawa.
It’s the second tournament win this season for the UC Berkeley alum, 32, after September’s Fortinet Championship in Napa. He also enjoys his home state – his win at Torrey Pines is his fourth on a California course.
Homa told the Golf Channel after his win that he feels “really good about my game,” but not so well that he didn’t feel “a bit of a jolt on 12” as Morikawa, Bradley and Sungjae Im made moves.
“So I was like, if you keep thinking about where you are on this board, you’re not going to do so well,” and firmly shifted his attention away from the leaderboard.
He wasn’t the only one feeling the pressure. Ryder, pursued by Jon Rahm Friday and Homa Saturday, had bogeys on the 7th and 8th holes, but it got worse from there. With a double bogey on the 15th hole, Ryder, aiming for his first tour win, fell to third. He added a bogey on the 17th to finish at 3-over 75 on the day.
“I was trying to just enjoy it,” Ryder told the Associated Press. “Like you know, it was a good experience for me and I think it’s only going to feed me.
Im and Sahith Theegala tied with Ryder for fourth, four strokes back of Homa.
Rahm, chasing Ryder for two days, slipped to 7th, tied with Jason Day, after a 2-over 74 left him five strokes back. The Spaniard, ranked No. 3 in the world, had been aiming for his third straight tournament win.
Both Xander Schauffele, a San Diego State alum, and Rickie Fowler, a Murrieta native, shot even-par 72s in the final round. Fowler finished tied for 11th, eight strokes back, followed by Schauffele, among five golfers at nine back, in 13th.
Among other notables, Tony Finau, who had his best round Friday to move into contention, fell back, finishing six strokes off the pace in a ninth-place tie with HIdeki Matsuyama.
Luke List, who won last year, ended up 12 strokes back, tied for 25th. The last player to defend his title at Torrey Pines was Tiger Woods, who won each year from 2005-08.
Updated 6:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Jan. 28, 2023