Valero Texas Open: Max Homa reveals Masters prep gentle bulb second


Max Homa performed nicely on the Valero Texas Open Thursday, taking pictures a 4-under 68 at TPC San Antonio.

The previous California Golden Bear completed with three birdies over his final 4 holes to climb the leaderboard, which included a 39-foot bomb on the final.

However after his spherical, Homa supplied perception into his considering for enjoying this week as a part of his Masters prep. Homa has not performed on the Valero Texas Open since 2019.

“Proper after The Open final 12 months, I sort of determined I used to be going to play the entire weeks earlier than the majors,” Homa mentioned.

“It’s simpler this 12 months. Most individuals play the Scottish [Open], and I all the time do, in order that one’s simple. The opposite two are Signature Occasions. I hadn’t been right here shortly, nevertheless it’s a course I like. Town and accommodations are wonderful, particularly with the household, so it was a no brainer so as to add this one and attempt to change up how I’ve ready for the majors, particularly the Masters.”

Earlier than final 12 months’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, Homa had by no means completed inside the highest 10 at a serious. He missed the reduce on the Los Angeles Nation Membership, an occasion he described as a “house recreation.” A month earlier, he didn’t break par at Oak Hill throughout the PGA Championship.

He additionally tied for forty third on the 2023 Masters, his finest end at Augusta Nationwide in 4 appearances.

As such, Homa hopes the Valero Texas Open will give him extra success in Georgia.

“I feel after I’m at house, I attempt to be a perfectionist, and I sort of hope that carries into the subsequent week,” Homa mentioned.

“I feel this would possibly work higher for myself: I’m studying extra about my golf recreation, what photographs really feel good, and what photographs don’t, and I’m leaning into that as an alternative of attempting to make all of them precisely proper.”

Homa had a powerful opening spherical primarily resulting from his iron play, as he ranked sixth in strokes gained approaching the inexperienced.

“Felt like my iron play was actually good, which it has been trending that approach, simply haven’t been within the fairway a complete lot, and it simply felt, I don’t know, I simply felt like I struck the ball actually strong,” Homa added.

Max Homa, PGA Tour, Valero Texas Open

Max Homa performs his tee shot on the 2nd gap throughout the first spherical of the 2024 Valero Texas Open.
Picture by Brennan Asplen/Getty Photos

“Within the wind, that’s an enormous factor that will go just a little neglected at occasions. When your strike high quality is actual good, the wind doesn’t mess with it fairly as a lot, so I really feel like I did a very good job of that.”

Homa made just one bogey on Thursday on the par-5 18th, the place he airmailed the inexperienced from 136 yards out together with his third. He did not rise up and down from the sand lure, however apart from that, Homa performed strong golf.

He additionally remained affected person all through, making the most of the alternatives he gave himself on the finish. And to cap it off with the lengthy birdie on the ninth gap—his ultimate gap of the day—was a bonus.

“I actually preferred how I performed,” Homa added.

“Should you had instructed me I might have completed the day with out these, I might have had an analogous feeling about my day. The standard of golf was actually good.”

Solely time will inform if the work Homa put on this week will repay at Augusta.

Jack Milko is a golf employees author for SB Nation’s Enjoying By way of. Make sure to take a look at @_PlayingThrough for extra golf protection. You may observe him on Twitter @jack_milko as nicely.