2022 Wells Fargo Championship leaderboard, grades: Max Homa exhibits dramatic enchancment in fourth Tour win

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A seesaw battle in Potomac, Maryland, noticed Max Homa seize his second title on the Wells Fargo Championship. A victor in 2019 at Quail Hole Membership, the Californian has now raised 4 trophies in a 72-tournament stretch on the PGA Tour – good for a 5.56% successful proportion over this timeframe.

Rising from the depths of his early struggles on golf’s greatest phases have been effectively documented, however the enchancment from simply 2021 to 2022 deserves some mild. Now a two-time winner this season, Homa has joined Scottie Scheffler, Hideki Matsuyama, Cameron Smith and Sam Burns as a multiple-time winner.

As pure a ball-striker as they arrive, Jim “Bones” MacKay as soon as known as Homa a “top-10 ball-striker” on Tour when he was on his bag on the PGA Championship final 12 months. The 31-year-old might not fairly be there but, however he’s definitely on his approach.

However to say Homa’s ball-striking has been the issue since 2019 would merely be unfaithful. He can run ice chilly on the greens and is streaky at the very best of instances. At this 12 months’s Masters, he insisted sufficient was sufficient. 

Turning to placing guru Phil Kenyon, Homa carried out AimPoint into his greens studying routine on the Zurich Basic. “Phil confirmed me in New Orleans, I might learn them and he would ask me the place I believed I wanted to start out it after which he would present me the place I did and I used to be fairly a methods off,” mentioned Homa after his third spherical on the Wells Fargo Championship. “So been working towards a ton with my toes, ensuring that I am doing the very best I can. Clearly it is nonetheless new, I would not say I’ve mastered it by any means, however simply getting a little bit bit higher on daily basis at dwelling, actually grinding, ensuring I am working towards the odds and little issues like that.”

It positively didn’t begin with no hitch. Homa misplaced almost two strokes to the sphere on the greens on his opening 9 on Thursday, and frustration and doubt might have simply creeped into the again of his thoughts. When using such a change, confidence can typically be troublesome to garner when outcomes aren’t instantaneous — particularly for a participant like Homa who has been so vocal about his interior perception.

But that interior perception is continuous to develop, and his efficiency on the greens of TPC Potomac often is the good encapsulation of Homa’s rise on the planet of golf. He gained 9 strokes on the sphere along with his putter over the course of the subsequent 63 holes, and within the course of cemented his title within the dialog for the U.S. Presidents Cup Crew.

He possesses a whole recreation, a killer intuition and persistently will get the job carried out when within the warmth of a back-nine battle. The most important championship résumé has but to catch as much as Homa’s expertise stage, however I’m assured quickly it’s going to. Quickly, pundits and friends will not be calling Homa a “top-10 ball-striker on Tour,” however slightly a top-10 participant within the recreation. Grade: A+

Listed here are the remainder of our grades for the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship:

T2. Cameron Younger: Chad Ramey has gained this season, however I believe we are able to all agree Younger is within the driver’s seat for Rookie of the Yr honors. It merely doesn’t matter what kind in fact he steps on, the 25-year-old all the time has the potential to contend given his skillset. First in strokes-gained tee to inexperienced on the week, he was only a cooperative putter away from giving Homa an actual run for his cash. As an alternative, he needed to accept a silver medal and the fourth podium end of his rookie marketing campaign. Grade: A

T2. Matt Fitzpatrick: He retains knocking on the door and standard knowledge suggests he’ll ultimately break by means of, however it was yet one more shut name for Fitzpatrick. The Englishman didn’t do something extraordinary exterior of placing, however perhaps we must always take this as a optimistic given how he has carried out from tee to inexperienced this 12 months. Mixed with is affinity forf troublesome circumstances, Fitzpatrick could possibly be an intriguing choice in two weeks at Southern Hills — and much more so for the U.S. Open at The Nation Membership, the positioning of his U.S. Novice triumph in 2013. Grade: A-

5. Rory McIlroy: A month faraway from competitors, McIlroy started his Wells Fargo Championship in a flurry and regarded as if he could be a significant component over the weekend. A second-round 3-over 73 was his eventual undoing, however he needs to be optimistic given his different three rounds. He ranked inside the highest 15 of every strokes-gained metric except across the inexperienced, the place he narrowly misplaced strokes to the sphere, marking his first damaging efficiency for the reason that WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational final August. His recreation has regarded sharp all 12 months, and he finds his title beneath solely Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm on the PGA Championship odds board. Grade: B+

T21. Rickie Fowler: He arrived at TPC Potomac with no top-40 end in 2022 and leaves the D.C. space having proven indicators of life. Fowler’s iron play continued to be a brilliant spot, as he has now gained strokes on method in 4 straight tournaments, however the putter lastly coming to his help is what has me excited. Tenth in strokes-gained placing on the week, the return to bent grass handled Fowler effectively as he gears up for the PGA Championship. The lone main championship he has certified for this season, he’ll look to observe up his 2021 efficiency at Kiawah Island which noticed him end in a tie for eighth. Grade: B


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