Genesis Open 2021: Max Homa Edges Tony Finau in Playoff for Win

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2021

Max Homa tees off on the first hole during the final round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Ryan Kang/Associated Press

Max Homa knows how to win in the most dramatic fashion possible.   

His five-under 66 on Sunday helped him finish 12 under for the Genesis Invitational and keep pace with the red-hot Tony Finau (12 under overall, seven under on Sunday) before beating him in two playoff holes to earn the title in Pacific Palisades, California. Both players catapulted past Sam Burns (11 under), who came into Sunday atop the leaderboard but shot a 69.

Homa had an opportunity to win the tournament on No. 18, going into the hole tied with Finau, but missed a three-foot birdie attempt. 

So the pair went to extra holes and started on No. 10, where Homa found the trees, though he managed to salvage a birdie attempt:

Both players finished with pars and headed to No. 14 for a second playoff hole, during which Homa put himself in position for a birdie. This time, he executed:

Finau finished the hole with a second straight par, and the title belonged to Homa.

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Homa, who grew up in Los Angeles and watched the Genesis Invitational growing up, was emotional after his victory:

It was a tough break for Finau, who was superb Sunday but didn't quite have enough to beat Homa in the playoff. 

There's a bit of "always the bridesmaid, never the bride" happening for Finau on the golf course these days, though it shouldn't overshadow the fact he's playing fantastic golf:

For much of the tournament, it looked as though Burns was going to claim his first PGA Tour win. And while he didn't play poorly Sunday, he couldn't hold off the surging Homa and Finau. Still, finishing third represented the best result of his career. 

And when the two guys chasing you are hitting some of the shots you'll see below, well, you can forgive yourself for giving up the lead:

Other notable finishers at the tournament included Jon Rahm (seven under), Dustin Johnson (six under), Jordan Spieth (four under) and Rickie Fowler (three under). 

Oh, and tournament host Tiger Woods provided an update about his health and his plans for The Masters:

"God, I hope so," Woods said when CBS' Jim Nantz asked him if he would be at The Masters. "I've got to get there first. A lot of it's based on my surgeons and my doctors and my therapists and making sure I do it correctly. This is the only back I've got, so I don't have much more wiggle room left."