Although Max Homa claimed he didn’t see the outcome, there was no need to burn this swing.
Homa’s maiden ace on the PGA Tour came at a perfect time. The three-time PGA Tour winner rolled in his tee shot on the 14th hole during Saturday’s third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge after a tumultuous stretch that included a double bogey, a birdie, and a bogey.
Homa moved to the tee box with the stick 163 yards away and hit a superb pitching wedge with a stiff breeze at his back. The ball softly fell on the green’s front, moved toward the flag, and nestled into the cup.
Before his caddy, Joe Greiner, stepped in for a chest bump, the California native followed with a little dance and a smile.
🚨 ACE ALERT 🚨
@MaxHoma23's first ace on TOUR! pic.twitter.com/Ju6ABV5Bze
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 5, 2022
When the ball dropped, Homa appeared to be looking away, and after his round, he told reporters that he waits for reaction on his shots to know the outcome.
“I can barely see a 30-footer go in because my eyes are so awful.” I don’t generally watch television. “All I do is listen,” he explained. “I hit a fantastic shot.” It began to fall slightly to the right. I was attempting to hit a small cut and simply put it high in the air. And I whacked it hard, and it began to drift to the right. So I wasn’t sure if everything would work out.
“Then I heard someone clap as it landed, so I knew it was nice.” It went nuts when I turned around to fetch some water from some pals I have out here.”
Scottie Scheffler, Homa’s playing partner, said the golf karma gods were simply rewarding Homa for his bogey on No. 13.
“It took some time to get in. “I was just chatting to Ted (Scott, his caddie) about it,” Scheffler said of the ace. “On 13, the pin was a terrible pin, and Max, it was a great putt.” It landed 12 feet away from the hole. On that hole, he struck four nice shots and made five, which he didn’t deserve. So watching that ball go in was a little bit of a make-up.”
However, Homa’s rollercoaster ride continued after 14, as he birdied No. 16 before making bogeys on 17 and 18 to finish with a 73. He is currently 1 over par for the tournament.
Mastercard will gift $200,000 to the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation in recognition of the ace. Those who were watching from the Palmer Patio were also overjoyed to see the ball come in. The tournament’s main sponsor will distribute two grounds passes to the 2023 event to tournament fans who purchased tickets to the 14th hole area for Saturday’s round.
Although it was Homa’s first hole-in-one on the PGA Tour, it was the tournament’s sixth ace, including two previous season from Kris Ventura and Jazz Janewattananond. Homa, it turns out, was Janewattananond’s playing partner a year ago when he pulled the same stunt.
Homa believes this was his eighth hole-in-one, with his first being when he was 9 or 10 years old and playing the Chica at Vista Valencia in Valencia, California.
“I got a trophy for coming in third.” “I got a beautiful picture of my five-year-old pal, Eric,” Homa explained. “He was around three feet taller than me at the time.” I’m overjoyed with this prize, and he’s furious that he was able to tie a 9-year-old. That photograph is either in my possession or in the possession of my mother.
Shoutout @JoshBoeldt for reminding me of this – @maxhoma23 was witness to an ace on the 14th at Bay Hill in the third round of the API last year. Jazz makes it. Max celebrates. One year later, Max aces the same hole in the same round. pic.twitter.com/OHogMEbdvP
— Shane Bacon (@shanebacon) March 5, 2022
“I still communicate with him.” He knows which photo it is because I show it to him every time I visit him.”