Max Homa Takes Early Lead at Nedbank Challenge
A Career Season for Homa
Max Homa, the rising star of the PGA Tour, has had a remarkable season in 2023. With two victories in California, a major top 10 finish, and a standout performance in the U.S. Ryder Cup team, Homa has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of golf. Now, at the DP World Tour’s Nedbank Challenge, the 32-year-old has surged to the top of the leaderboard with an impressive opening round score of 6-under 66.
A Dream Come True
Reflecting on his journey, Homa expressed his excitement about playing in the DP World Tour events. “I always wanted to play in these tournaments,” he said. “In the past, the PGA Tour schedule made it challenging to participate, with the constant travel and jet lag. But now, with a real offseason, I made it a point to play at least one event here. It’s been a dream come true to have this opportunity and experience the world of golf on a larger scale.”
Leading the Pack
Homa currently shares the first-round lead with fellow Ryder Cup participant Nicolai Hojgaard, PGA Tour winner Vincent Norrman, and Dan Bradbury. As the world No. 8, Homa is undoubtedly the standout player among this talented group. However, he will need to maintain his exceptional performance if he hopes to convert this 18-hole lead into his fifth victory in his last 51 starts worldwide.
A Formidable Competitor
There is no doubt that Homa is in top form. He has consistently performed well, finishing within the top 21 on leaderboards since June and securing five consecutive top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour. Despite the American team’s loss in the 2023 Ryder Cup, Homa stood out with an impressive record of 3-1-1.
However, Homa admits to having some concerns about rust after nearly two months without a stroke-play event. During his offseason, he enjoyed various activities, including a trip to Rome, celebrating his first Halloween as a father, and even embarking on a safari expedition with Justin Thomas. “The game is not exactly at its peak,” Homa confessed. “This break has been the longest I’ve ever taken from golf. But I’m excited to play and get back into the competitive spirit. Even though I haven’t played much recently, once the event starts, it feels normal.”
Despite his time away from the game, Homa’s skills have not diminished. His iron play remains sharp, his putting is confident, and his overall performance suggests that he hasn’t missed a beat.