Max Homa climbs back into Genesis Invitational, doesn’t play to ‘sniff cut line’

After a rough opening round on Thursday, Max Homa carded one of the low scores of the day at Riviera Country Club on Friday.

Homa signed for a 6-under 65, vaulting up the Genesis Invitational leaderboard by almost 50 spots and into contention. He now sits at 4-under for the championship in a tie for 12th.

“I’ve just been really waiting for the last few months to make a couple of putts and just make things a shade easier on myself,” Homa explained after his second round.

“Didn’t really play a whole lot better. Hit my irons better than yesterday, but just yesterday, if you can’t make anything, it makes you feel like you’ve got to play too perfectly.”

On Friday, Homa gained more than three strokes on the greens, ranking second out of anyone in the Genesis Invitational field. The day before, he lost 1.642 strokes putting, which ranked 60th out of 70 players.

Max Homa, PGA Tour, The Genesis Invitational

Max Homa lines up a putt during the second round of the 2024 Genesis Invitational.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

He opened up his second round with a 14-footer at the first, which served as a massive confidence boost.

“It’s just been frustrating making a lot of putts inside of 10 feet the last handful of weeks and just nothing outside of it,” Homa added.

“So it was nice to make a couple and take some stress off. I made one bad swing on 8 and then made a long putt. I just haven’t done that in a while.”

Homa drained a 34-footer at the 8th, soaring him into red figures. At that point, he was 3-under on his round and 1-under for the championship.

But he was still flirting with the cut-line.

“I would like to be able to do things where I play mediocre to [poor] on the first day and then not play well the next day, just not to sniff the cut line,” Homa explained.

“I want to play to get back in the golf tournament.”

Homa did just that, putting himself in a position to make a move on Saturday.

Max Homa, PGA Tour, The Genesis Invitational

Max Homa hits a tee shot.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After making birdie from distance at the 8th, Homa poured in two more at the 9th and 10th.

He then made three more birdies down the stretch, but two bogeys on the par-4 15th and par-3 16th prevented him from going ridiculously low.

“Feel like I’m doing everything I possibly can and doing all the right stuff, and it’s a nice breath of fresh air to have this round because I just feel I’m doing everything right,” Homa said.

“My swing hasn’t felt amazing, but it doesn’t feel terrible, and the putter feels great, and nothing had gone in. So I think today I might sleep a little bit better tonight knowing that some of my work is paying off.”

After tying for 14th at The Sentry and finishing a tie for 13th at the Farmers Insurance Open, Homa struggled to sustain any momentum at Pebble Beach and in Phoenix.

He tied for 66th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and missed the cut at the WM Phoenix Open.

But his performance this week has been a stark improvement from his prior starts. Perhaps he can keep the momentum going Saturday and put himself in a position to capture another victory at the Genesis Invitational.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

This post was originally published on this site