Max Homa is making his Ryder Cup debut in 2023, but NCG’s Matt Chivers believes the rookie will be the United States VIP at Marco Simone in Italy
Max Homa’s superb 2023 season added further bewilderment as to where he’s been hiding all these years.
While he toiled on the Korn Ferry Tour, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth were earning major glory.
Just five years after missing 12 cuts in American golf’s second division, Homa now lines up with these players as a crucial part of America’s Ryder Cup side.
The most crucial part, too. And here’s why.
There has rarely been a point where Homa has been out of form this season – ironically it is the majors where his most disappointing results have come.
But a tied 10th finish at The Open led to three more top 10s in three FedEx Cup Playoff events, rounding off a stellar season of even more improvement.
He won the Fortinet Championship at the very beginning and has the chance to complete a hat-trick in Napa this week.
His sixth PGA Tour trophy followed shortly after at the Farmers Insurance Open – and he was edged out in a tussle with Jon Rahm at the Genesis Invitational too.
But we know Homa is the business now, ranked 7th in the world having previously reached number five.
So why is Max Homa the USA’s biggest asset?
Having previously argued that Justin Thomas didn’t deserve a captain’s pick from Zach Johnson, part of my reasoning was Jordan Spieth wouldn’t miss him as much as many people think.
This is where Homa enters the stage, as he’s not only one of America’s best players but their most versatile too.
It’s clear he retains a close bond with the likes of Spieth, Thomas, and Rickie Fowler – while also having sung the praises of Collin Morikawa this year too.
Is there a more popular player on the PGA Tour? His down-to-earth personality and relaxed demeanour make him the perfect partner for any US teammate.
Homa could’ve partnered Spieth if Thomas was left out, but now the two-time PGA Champion is heading to Rome, this only makes another pairing possibility in itself.
At the 2022 Presidents Cup, Homa’s professional team match play bow for the United States, he played with Tony Finau and Billy Horschel.
It is extremely difficult to predict the pairings for a Ryder Cup, but you can bet on Homa thriving in each session no matter who he’s paired with, in my book.
A Match Play Master
The 32-year-old played four matches at Quail Hollow a year ago and won four points, while silencing the International’s cheerleader Tom Kim in the singles session.
He was a rookie by name, but not by nature – much like Scottie Scheffler’s wildcard pick at Whistling Straits in 2021.
Homa won all three of his group matches at this year’s WGC Match Play, taking down format specialist and previous winner Kevin Kisner, as well as Hideki Matsuyama.
As he is a late bloomer, Homa doesn’t have an extensive team match play record to look back on and gush over, but what I’ve seen I’ve liked.
He earned two out of three points playing in the 2013 Walker Cup alongside Thomas, Michael Kim and Patrick Rodgers who also play on the PGA Tour today.
His passion was clear to see when playing under Davis Love III 12 months ago, and it’ll no doubt be on show under Johnson at Marco Simone at the end of this month.
He has become a killer in high-pressure situations and has crucially learned how to win.
His putting and scoring are statistically phenomenal while he also ranks in the top 50 for strokes gained from tee to green and approaching the green.
The United States have a side full of major champions and serial winners, but I expect Homa to be top of the points leaderboard and the biggest danger to Europe’s impeccable home record.
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