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Max Homa helps U.S. beat Britain/Ireland in Walker Cup

Posted: September 8, 2013 5:56 p.m.
Updated: September 8, 2013 5:56 p.m.

Valencia alumnus Max Homa reacts to his made putt on the 18th hole during a foursome match at the 2013 Walker Cup in Southampton, N.Y. on Sunday. Photo by John Mummert/USGA

 

When Max Homa rolled in his 6-foot putt to clinch a foursome match victory over Britian/Ireland in the 2013 Walker Cup on Sunday, it was everything he could have dreamed.

“That was probably the best moment of golf of my life,” said Homa, a Valencia High graduate.

And this is coming from a guy who won an NCAA Division I individual golf title and played in a U.S. Open just three months ago.

Nothing could compare to Sunday though, when Homa and American teammate Michael Kim won 1-up in 18 holes to help the U.S. team beat Britain/Ireland 17-9 for a Walker Cup victory at National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y.

“I just think we had a really good team to be honest,” Homa said. “We played really well and I just think we felt comfortable.”

In the early portion of the day, members of each team matched up two vs. two and played rounds with alternating shots in a format known as foursome matches.

Homa was paired with Kim, who also spent last year as Homa’s teammate on the University of California, Berkeley golf team.

Homa and Kim faced Britain/Ireland’s Garrick Porteous and Rhys Pugh, and the match went back-and-forth all day.

Porteous and Pugh took a 1-up lead into the 17th hole, when Homa sank 4-foot a par putt to win the hole and put the match at all square headed to the par-5 18th.

After the Britian/Ireland team bogeyed the final hole, Homa was left with his 6-foot clincher for the match.

“Those last two holes coming back from it, I’ll never forget about it,” said the 22-year-old who is the 13th ranked amateur in the world.

Playing in the Walker Cup has been a goal of Homa’s for the last two years, he said, and he has intentionally held off on declaring as a professional in order to participated in the prestigious international competition which is played once every two years.

It was a two-day event that included foursome matches and singles matches played between the 10 members of each team.

Each team was made up of some of the top amateur players in the world and they were selected based on previous accomplishments.

Homa won his singles match on Saturday 5 and 3 over Max Orrin to help the Americans jump out to an 8-4 lead headed into Sunday.

The U.S. team started strong on day two and ended up clinching the overall victory early in the afternoon.

“We had so much momentum and we came out firing in foursomes,” Homa said. “And that really carried over form yesterday.”

To cap off the tournament, Homa also played a singles match against Ireland’s Kevin Phelan and lost 2 and 1. He was informed of the team’s victory during the 12th hole of the round against Phelan.

All told, the U.S. tallied 3 1/2 points in foursome matches and 13 1/2 in singles play.

Europe took 4 1/2 points in both foursomes and singles.

From here, Homa will turn pro and eventually try to make his way onto the PGA Tour.

He’ll being the pre-qualifying process of PGA Q-School in October.

“It’s weird,” Homa said of ending his amateur career. “But it’s kind of perfect. It ended just how I would have wanted it to. I have no regrets. I’m just ready to move on to the next chapter.”

Notes: Homa knocked in a hole-in-one on the par-3, 121-yard sixth hole of his singles match with a 52-degree gap wedge. It was his sixth career ace. ... This weekend was the 44th playing of the Walker Cup, which began in 1922. The U.S. now leads the overall series 35-8-1.

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