Wells Fargo Championship
Playing out of the final twosome, overnight co-leader and World No. 417 Max Homa hung up a day-tying-low, 4-under-par 33-34=67 in Sunday’s weather-delayed final round at Quail Hollow Club for a 72-hole tally of 15-under 269, good for a three-shot victory over runner-up and first- and third-round co-leader Joel Dahmen, who shot 70 out of the penultimate twosome.
The 28-year-old, a pre-tourney 300/1 outright, bags his first PGA TOUR title in 69 events (68 pro), brushing aside a previous-best T6 at the 2015 Sony Open during his rookie season.
World No. 2 Justin Rose (68), the top-ranked OWGRer in the field, finished alone in 3rd place, four adrift, while four players shared 4th place, six in arrears: Sergio Garcia (68); Rickie Fowler (68); Paul Casey (69); and second-round leader and third-round co-leader Jason Dufner (73).
Homa, in his third season on TOUR, has missed more cuts (43) than he’s made (26). His career earnings in 67 prior (pro) starts: $967,555. Sunday’s haul: $1,422,000. Nice.
Final Leaderboard (pre-tourney odds outright):
1- (-15, 269) Max Homa (300/1)
2- (-12, 272) Joel Dahmen (80/1)
3- (-11, 273) Justin Rose (12/1)
4- (-9, 275) Sergio Garcia (22/1)
4- (-9, 275) Rickie Fowler (12/1)
4- (-9, 275) Paul Casey (20/1)
4- (-9, 275) Jason Dufner (225/1)
Note: Zurich (team event) aside, three of the last four winners on TOUR have come from the triple-digits ranks: Homa (300/1); C.T. Pan (125/1, RBC Heritage); Corey Conners (150/1, Valero). Sandwiched in there was 14/1 winner Tiger Woods at the Masters.
Homa’s Position by Round:
R1: T17 (3 back)
R2: T2 (1 back)
Note: Homa is the second straight 54-hole leader/co-leader to win the Wells Fargo (Jason Day, 2018) and fourth in the last six.
Leader/co-leaders by Round:
R1: Rory McIlroy (finished T8): Drops to 3-for-13 as 18-hole leader/co-leader
R1: Joel Dahmen (2nd): Drops to 0-for-4
R2: Jason Dufner (T4): Drops to 5-for-12 as 36-hole leader/co-leader
R3: Max Homa (Won): Improves to 1-for-1 as 54-hole leader/co-leader
R3: Jason Dufner (T4): Drops to 3-for-8
R3: Joel Dahmen (2nd): Drops to 0-for-1
Note: Homa is first 54-hole leader/co-leader to win since Graeme McDowell at the opposite-field Corales five weeks ago. Through 28 events this season, 12, 54-hole leaders/co-leaders have successfully converted.
By the Numbers:
- Repeat top-10 finishers from last year: Paul Casey (4-5)
- Consecutive top-10 finishes in the event: Justin Rose (3-3-5); Pat Perez (8-2)
- 2: Number of top-3 finishes for runner-up Joel Dahmen in 64 events (T2, 2018 John Deere).
- 37: Number of top-3 finishes for 3rd-place finisher Rose in 331 events, three this season in eight starts.
- T13: Of 29 first-timers at Quail Hollow, the best finish was T13 by TOUR rookie Jim Knous. Also top rookie (of 21).
- 6/1 fave: Pre-tourney outright odds for two-time past champ Rory McIlroy.
- 11/4 fave: Revised outright odds for McIlroy entering the final round.
- 73: McIlroy’s final-round score (2 birdies, 2 bogeys, 1 double). Began solo 5th, two back, finished T8, eight back.
- 9/1: Homa’s revised outright odds entering the final round.
- 67: Homa’s final-round score (5 birdies, 1 bogey)
- 9: Homa is the ninth player this season (28 events) to MC the start prior and then win in their next start.
- 28: The last five, first-time TOUR winners were all in their 20s: Homa, Pan, Conners, Mitchell, Martin Trainer.
- 3: Homa is playing his third season on TOUR.
- 163: Homa’s finish in the FedExCup standings after 2015 rookie campaign.
- 244: Homa’s finish in the FEC standings after 2017.
- 185: Number of career rounds on TOUR for Homa.
- 0: Number of times Homa had led or co-led after any round entering the week.
- 1: Homa’s win earns him a plethora of invites, including his first PGA Championship in two weeks, and his first Masters in 2020. His only appearance in majors so far was a missed cut at the 2013 U.S. Open (Merion GC) as an amateur.
- 1: Number of NCAA Individual champions from the Cal Bears golf team. Homa in 2013.
How Homa Won the Tournament:
Ranked 1st (or T1) in: Total Bogeys; Birdie to Bogey Ratio; Par-4 Scoring; SG: Putting; Putts per GIR; All Around
Ranked 2nd(or T2) in: Total Birdies; Birdie or Better Percentage; Par-5 Scoring; Total Putts; Scrambling
Note: See “Strokes Gained Leaders Stats” at the bottom, along with his full stats.
Least Important Stat(s): Driving Accuracy (ranked T45); Driving Distance (23rd); SG: Around-the-Green (41st)
Overall, this was the California native’s third professional win. He won two times in 74 career starts on the Web.com Tour, the 2014 BMW Charity Pro-Am in Greenville, South Carolina, and the 2016 Rust-Oleum Championship in Illinois.
Homa is a three-time Web.com grad (2014, 2016 and 2018), making his way back to the main stage this year with a 26th-place finish in the WCT Priority Rankings last season.
Last August in R2 of the regular-season-ending Portland Open, he made four consecutive birdies to make the cut and secure his WCT Finals berth.
“I harkened back to that one hard yesterday. I was driving to the course. I was nervous as can be to play with Rory (McIlroy). Who the heck am I? It’s his birthday. He’s probably going to lap me. I’m freaking out, right?”
“And I thought back to that exact day, and I thought to myself, ‘I don’t think anyone out here’, or a handful of them, I know Rory hadn’t, ‘has ever had to do what I did’… up to that point, I was highly considering having to go back to Q-School, you don’t get through there, you start to spiral on the negatives. So that’s pressure. That’s a little bit more than this was.”
Homa is now fully exempt thru the 2020-21 season.
Homa’s TOUR Career:
Cuts Made: 26 (37.6%)
Top 25s: 5 (7.2%)
Top 10s: 4 (5.7%)
Top 3s: 1 (1.4%)
Wins: 1 (1.4%)
This was Homa’s 16th start of the season and second top 10. His previous best was T10 at the AT&T Pebble Beach seven starts ago. Homa’s most recent individual event was a T42 at the Valero four weeks ago. He checked in off a MC (by three) at last week’s Zurich teamed with Andrew Putnam (67-best ball; 72-alternate shot).
Season Form: 1-MC-42-52-MC-20-37-10-26-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC-60
Of the 156 who started this event, just three players were under-par in all four rounds: Homa (69-63-70-67); Dahmen (66-66-70-70); Rose (70-67-68-68).
In 69 events played, Homa has connected four sub-par rounds six times. This week was his first time since the 2015 John Deere.
Two Cal alums have won the last four editions. Homa (class of 2013) joins 2003 grad James Hahn, who was a 400/1 winner in 2016.
Two times this week were Homa had or tied the low round of the day: 63/R2; 67/R4.
In Round 1, Homa went off No. 1 tee at 2:10 PM. That was the last tee time of the day on Thursday, tee-times which are typically relegated to those with let’s say, not the greatest chance of making the cut much less winning the event.
Homa entered the week ranked 402nd in career earnings at the Wells Fargo. In his previous two visits, he missed the cut by six in 2017 (Eagle Point GC) and collected a grand total of $13,206 in 2015 for a T76/MDF. He now ranks 13th.
Through 28 events on the season, 15 have utilized ShotLink for all four rounds. Homa’s 17.340 SG: Total is the second-highest behind Dustin Johnson’s 20.432 at the limited-field, no-cut WGC-Mexico.
After kicking off with 69, week-tying-low 63, and 70, Homa began T1, his first career lead/co-lead on TOUR in 184 rounds played.
On six (of 14) fairways and 12 greens in regulation, he posted 0.080 SG: Off-the-Tee, 0.561 SG: Approach, and -0.103 SG: Around.
Homa squared a lone bogey-5 at 16, preceded by five birdies at 5, 7, 10, 11 and 15, three from between 13 and 15 feet. He recorded 1.667 putts per GIR and 4.105 SG: Putting with 27 total putts, ending the week with 20 birdies against five bogeys.
Homa’s Key Moments in R4:
Began: T1 (final twosome)
OUT: bogey-free 2-under (2 birdies); Homa leads by 1 over Dahmen (penultimate twosome)
Hole 10 (par 5)
birdie from 14’11”; Dahmen, one hole ahead, bogeys 11 (two-shot swing); leads by 3 over Dahmen and Rose, 3-under thru 12 (third-to-last twosome)
Hole 11 (par 4)
birdie from 13’2”; leads by 4 over Dahmen, Rose
Hole 13 (par 3)
par-save from 5’2”; leads by 3 over Dahmen, who birdied 14
Hole 14 (par 4)
fairway, missed green from 110 yards out, pitched to 5’6”, play suspended due to dangerous weather; delay: 1 hour, 2 minutes. Returned to make par-saver; leads by 3 over Dahmen
Hole 15 (par 4)
birdie (2-putt) from 65’2”; leads by 4 over Dahmen
Hole 16 (par 4)
bogey, missed par-saver from 13’2” (fairway bunker off tee); leads by 3 over Dahmen
Hole 17 (par 3)
par-saver from 11’2”; leads by 3 over Dahmen
Hole 18 (par 4)
2-putt par from 71’4”; Homa WINS by 3 over Dahmen
IN: 2-under 34 (3 birdies, 1 bogey)
Strength of Field:
With a Strength of Field rating of 338 (down 154 from last year), Homa banks 50.00 world-ranking points:
OWGR: From 417 to 102 (up 315); career high
Note: Homa’s previous high was 261 after the 2015 AT&T Pro-Am
FedExCup: From 138 to 35 (up 103); career high
Field Scoring Average:
This was the 17thplaying of the Wells Fargo, 16th at Quail Hollow, second, and second straight as a par 71. The 2017 edition was a one-time move to Eagle Point GC to accommodate the PGA Championship.
Par 71 (35-36)
SG: Total: 17.340
Wells Fargo Form: 1-MC-76
Note: Before this week, Homa’s previous five rounds at the WFC: 75-76-72-71-75
R3: 65: Sergio Garcia
R4: (0): NONE
Multiple Bogey-free Rounds: NONE
A total of 75 players from a field of 156 made the 36-hole cut of 1-over 143:
35 (of 77) EARLY/late; 1 WD (Sam Burns)
40 (of 77) LATE/early; 1 WD (J.B. Holmes)
Note: Gary Woodland WD (illness) after 74/R3; was T70 at the time on 4-over 217.
Note: Byeong Hun An WD (neck) during R4; was T67 at the time (5-over).
Top 10s: 12
Note: Four of the last five Wells Fargo winners were LATE/early.
16 (of 28) tourneys so far this season with a traditional draw:
LATE/early: 10 (Homa)
Season Winners, including team-Zurich (29):
12 winners were in their 20s (Homa age: 28)
11 were in their 30s
6 were in their 40s
Season Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:
Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:
2: Jon Rahm (1-9)
2: Sergio Garcia (4-2)
2: Rickie Fowler (4-9)
2: Ian Poulter (9-10)
2: Patrick Cantlay (3-9)
2: Tiger Woods (1-5)
Consecutive Top-10 Streak Ended at:
2: Seamus Power (13-5-6)
2: Rory Sabbatini (18-3-10)
Homa’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 73 players):
Bogeys: 5 (T1)
Birdie or Better: 27.78% (2nd)
Birdie to Bogey Ratio: 4.00 (1st)
Par-3 Scoring: 3.00 (T18)
Par-4 Scoring: 3.86 (1st)
Par-5 Scoring: 4.25 (T2)
Driving Distance (all drives): 302.0 yards (23rd)
Driving Accuracy: 31/56 (T45) at 55.36%
Proximity: 37’10” (16th)
Putts per GIR: 1.612 (1st)
Total Putts: 107 (2nd)
Putts by Round: 26-25-29-27
Scrambling: 18/23 (2nd) at 78.26%
Leaders in Strokes Gained Stats:
1. Brendan Steele (7.684)
2. Rory McIlroy (5.703)
3. Kevin Streelman (5.205)
4. Keith Mitchell (4.996)
5. Doc Redman (4.782)
18. Max Homa (2.806)
1. Rory McIlroy (8.235)
2. Trey Mullinax (7.055)
3. Sergio Garcia (6.641)
4. Joel Dahmen (6.233)
5. Henrik Stenson (6.159)
12. Max Homa (4.591)
1. Pat Perez (5.264)
2. Nick Taylor (4.684)
3. Dylan Frittelli (4.397)
4. Matt Jones (4.314)
5. Webb Simpson (4.176)
41. Max Homa (0.140)
1. Max Homa (9.887)
2. Brendon Todd (9.557)
3. Cody Gribble (7.498)
4. Justin Rose (7.362)
5. Martin Laird (6.707)
1. Jason Dufner (12.796)
2. Rory McIlroy (11.488)
3. Henrik Stenson (9.480)
4. Joel Dahmen (9.076)
5. Sergio Garcia (9.060)
12. Max Homa (7.452)