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Max Homa, a native of Burbank and Valencia just north of Los Angeles, has won five PGA Tour events and hopes for another. His most recent triumph came at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego where he made an electrifying finish.
Not long ago, Homa's disappointing finish at a Tour event sent him searching for answers. However, after meeting his coach Adam Blackburn and learning some valuable lessons, Homa is now taking control of his life again.
Riviera Country Club, situated in Pacific Palisades on the westside of Los Angeles, has a distinguished history. It has been host to the PGA Tour's Genesis Invitational since its inception and has seen some of golf's greatest players compete here.
George Thomas and William P. Bell designed the course in 1927, which quickly became a hit upon opening. Over the years, it has hosted several major championships such as the US Open and PGA Championship.
Many may know the course as the site where Tiger Woods and other famous golfers have won, but few realize how challenging and unique it actually is. With its classic "hill and valley" design featuring some of the finest natural hole concepts a golf course architect can craft, this course presents plenty of challenges to its players.
At Riviera, there are a few holes that stand out in particular. One is the par-3 6th which features a donut-shaped green on a peninsula. Another is the par-3 10th, tree-lined with bunkers on both sides and an intimidating barranca over the left front visible from the tee box.
On the back nine, there is the dogleg right 11th hole with its signature tee shot that must carry over a valley and over a bridge to reach the green on the other side. This finishing hole requires an accurate approach shot from the tee as well as precision from long range.
Playing Riviera golf course can be intimidating at first, but once you find your rhythm and confidence in your swing, the golf becomes much less of a challenge. Indeed, Riviera often ranks among the top five courses in America and is considered by many to be the best course in California.
Recently, the Riviera has played host to some of golf's greatest players, from Rory Sabbatini and Charles Howell III. It's also been a site of some controversy with tense play on several occasions. Ultimately though, Riviera has produced some memorable winners and thrilling moments in sports - it holds a special place in golfers' hearts as an iconic part of its legacy.
11 months ago, Max Homa of Valencia, California, won the Genesis Invitational with a bang. As he made a four-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole at Riviera Country Club and ran to greet wife Lacey and infant son Cam, Homa was truly in celebration mode.
The PGA Tour is hosting the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California from Thursday through Sunday. This tournament is one of five "invitational" tournaments on the Tour that feature a smaller field (120 players compared to 156 in standard PGA Tour events) and an increased prize purse ($20 million) designed to attract top golfers.
Genesis, as the host of this year's event, is providing guests with an elevated on-course hospitality and thoughtful gifting. Furthermore, premium branded vehicles and free sponsored high-speed wireless connectivity will be provided throughout the course.
This year's Genesis Invitational will be broadcast nationally on CBS, ESPN+ and Golf Channel from February 16-19. Featuring 23 of the top 25 ranked players worldwide and 30 in the FedExCup standings, this tournament promises to be one for the ages!
Watching the Genesis Invitational live online with an ESPN+ subscription, which costs $9.99 per month or $99.00 annually, is your best bet. This will grant access to all aspects of the tournament - including morning coverage that may not air on CBS or Golf Channel TV channels.
If you can't justify investing in a subscription, there are some free internet hacks that allow you to stream the Genesis Invitational without spending money. We'll discuss them further in another article.
Last year, Max Homa claimed his second career victory at the Genesis Invitational. In the opening round, Homa easily outmatched everyone and won by two strokes over Tony Finau.
He had an impressive win at Torrey Pines earlier this season, rallying from a five-shot deficit to defeat Keegan Bradley. Now the California native has won five consecutive PGA Tour events and six in his home state of California.
He's still striving to regain his place among the top 10 of world rankings after missing several major tournaments this past season. But it appears he may be ready for a strong finish at the Masters tournament in April.
The City of Champions can be an unsettling place. But one major story here is how golf has produced a new generation of stars - such as Max Homa - who are giving local fans something to cheer about.
On Saturday in San Diego, Homa - a native of Burbank and Valencia just north of L.A. - pulled off an incredible upset against two of golf's biggest names: He won at Torrey Pines by two strokes over Keegan Bradley, who was trying to win his third consecutive start and move up to No. 1 globally.
Woods returns to the PGA Tour after almost two years away, making his first appearance at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club. With 82 PGA Tour wins under his belt, he's tied with Sam Snead for most wins in tour history.
Tiger Woods has seen his share of hardship, including a near-fatal car crash in 2009 that forced him to take an indefinite leave from golf. Following this incident, much attention was focused on Tiger's personal life.
But he has also been one of the most influential figures in golf, earning hundreds of millions of dollars through endorsements and being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
His career has been filled with remarkable successes, from dominating the junior game and three U.S. Amateur titles to his impressive debut on the PGA Tour and most recently a Masters victory.
He possesses an exceptional knack for winning at seemingly random, which has earned him widespread respect in sports. Additionally, it's given him the ability to provide support to those around him - including his sons and wife Elin Nordegren - through words and deeds alike.
Young players often struggle to gain insight into the game, and finding success can be particularly challenging. Yet when they do succeed, it's like something magical has taken place.
Homa has had a storied relationship with Riviera Country Club since his early childhood days of playing golf there at age 6. The course holds special meaning to him and he enjoys returning regularly.
He has a special affinity for tournaments in his home state of California, earning four of his six PGA Tour victories there. Additionally, he holds two titles on the Fortinet Championship and Wells Fargo Tour respectively.
Homa made an incredible comeback this year with his win at the Genesis Invitational, giving him a boost of confidence that had previously eluded him. That victory forever altered his game.
Since that win, he has won four more PGA Tour events - including a title at the Fortinet Championship last October. Additionally, this season he won the Farmers Insurance Open, an event close to his heart.
Through his experiences at Riviera and Los Angeles, he has gained an appreciation for both places. Growing up in Valencia, Calif., he has fond memories of attending the tournament with his family as a child.
After graduating high school, he continued on to the University of California-Berkeley and earned a degree in consumer behavior.
Now, Max is married to Lacey Croom. She is an inspiring wife who supports him throughout his PGA Tour career.
Homa is an accomplished professional, but more importantly he's an adoring husband who enjoys spending time with his beloved. He relishes travels and exploring new places with her as much as he can.
He enjoys a huge following amongst his fans, who appreciate his humorous style and sharp wit. Additionally, he enjoys engaging in friendly banter with friends and colleagues.
Homa serves as an inspiring role model for young golfers, encouraging them to be patient and have fun while playing their games.
His dedication to golf can be seen in his commitment to improving his game despite having a busy schedule. As a result, he has earned several accolades such as being named PGA TOUR player of the year in 2022.