Shriners Children's Open

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

TPC Summerlin

Max Homa

Press Conference

JACK RYAN: We'd like to welcome Max Homa into the interview room here at the Shriners Children's Open. Max, making his second start of the season after successfully defending his title at the season-opening Fortinet Championship and coming off an impressive 4-0-0 week at the Presidents Cup in his tournament debut. Those two things mentioned, things are probably going about as well as possible for you to start the new season; is that right?

MAX HOMA: Yeah, it's been a really cool start to the year. Presidents Cup has just the most fun ever. Whether I went 4-0 or 0-4, as long as the team won, we all had a blast being around each other, and getting to celebrate on the normal 18th green at Quail Hollow, 15 for the tournament, not everybody gets to hold the cup and take pictures, and I guess just enjoy our own company and what we had accomplished. It was a lot of fun.

That week is going to hold a special place in my heart, so it was cool to get to have that experience. And then obviously to play well was the cherry on top.

JACK RYAN: You probably haven't had the success here that you would have hoped for, but do you feel like you're a much different player than you were in your last few starts here?

MAX HOMA: Yeah, I definitely have been going through, I feel like, swing issues every time I've come here, so I'm glad to say that that's not happening this year.

I like the golf course. Obviously the scores are really low. But I feel like certain holes you picture when you kind of fly over here, and you're like, oh, man, that one tee shot is tricky, and then you get out there and as you're swinging it better, you realize that it's actually not; you just weren't very good.

I'm glad to say that the fairways are looking much larger this year than maybe they have in the past.

Q. I wanted to ask you about playing these fall events, what the draw is to play them when you have full status and don't necessarily need to be out here.

MAX HOMA: Well, first and foremost, the data says that having a good fall typically leads to a good FedExCup run, and last year I had my best fall, and I had my best FedExCup finish.

The golf tournaments are also awesome. This run of I don't know how many it is now, but six to eight events are great, so I enjoy playing them. So that's another bonus. I enjoy playing golf; there's a third bonus.

But just in general, we're not going to have this schedule going forward next year, but these are great events that I would assume I'm still going to keep playing.

It's the start of the season, and you need to make points because the goal of the season is to finish No. 1 on the FedExCup. I feel like if you don't play these, it's making it hard. 20 percent of the season or so is this bulk of September to November.

Q. I was going to ask you about next season when it's the tail end. Do you still anticipate playing fall events?

MAX HOMA: Yeah. I mean, it's going to obviously probably change a little bit of the amount, but I'll play the Fortinet and then look into the other ones and just see what I want to do.

But yeah, like I said, these are great events, so they're still awesome golf tournaments. I'm always going to play the Fortinet at Silverado. I've had success there, partnership with Fortinet. I love Napa. I love California. So I'll always go there.

Then yeah, maybe change a bit of my schedule, but I enjoy these events. I'm bummed I'm not playing Houston this year. I'm having a kid in a month, and I want to take November off, so maybe I will get to play that one because I love that golf course. Then maybe some changes, but like I said, I'm a professional golfer; I like to play golf professionally. I enjoy that we have these opportunities.

Q. Then you mentioned the course; with your swing in good shape this year, what's the mentality like knowing that you've got to make a lot of birdies if you're going to do well here?

MAX HOMA: I guess quite similar to normal weeks. I feel like if you're approaching the tournament the correct way, it would essentially be just to hit a good tee shot, hit the smart best second shot and then hit the best putt you can. Courses are only -- scores are only lower because as people say, there are half pars around here. There's a short, short par-4 you drive, and then there's reachable par-5s, one of which is very reachable.

You're going to have maybe a couple more eagle putts than you would normally, and then your birdie putt average is probably going to be a bit -- you're going to be closer to the hole just because of how short the course can play with the heat and all that.

It's just like anything; you leave a course even when it's hard and you think, man, I wish I would have shot so and so better. Here you're going to have the same frustrations and the same success. I've always looked at the courses where the scores are lower as if you make less mistakes you're still going to make a bunch of birdies because we're good at golf, but if you can limit the backing up, that seems to be my mentality.

Q. There seems to be a lot of speculation as to what the Fall Series might look like after this year. How important is this market, the Vegas market, coming to the West Coast, being here? How important is it for you and how important is it for the TOUR to continue coming here? There's talk that these events might get diminished if that's the right word. How do you feel about that?

MAX HOMA: I'm probably not the right business person to answer about what it does for the TOUR financially or otherwise, but like I said before, I like these events. It's nice for me, this one. It's close to where I live in Arizona. This was my second TOUR start ever. It's Las Vegas; everybody likes coming here for the most part.

Yeah, I think that they're definitely important. I think every event that's ever been a TOUR event is an important part of someone's life in some way if they've played here. But yeah, I'm not sure that the future of all these, I don't know what changes when we don't have a wraparound season as we have. I would imagine that the events would still do all right because, like I said, I think a decent amount of us are still very excited about the events that we would play.

It doesn't change -- some of the guys don't play much in the fall at all. These events are still doing all right. But I would have to defer to a person much smarter than me about the market and whatnot.

Q. You mentioned the long-term goal of the FedExCup. What would you say if I told you you were 28 to 1 to win it in the first ever FedExCup market?

MAX HOMA: You're saying this year, 28 to 1?

Q. Apparently.

MAX HOMA: That's great. I don't know if that matters.

Q. Is it a fair reflection?

MAX HOMA: I just saw the Lakers are projected to win 36 and a half games. I would hope to God that's not true, but it could be wrong or it could be right. I don't know, like I said at the Fortinet, it feels really good when you see that -- that's a really good chance to be the best player for a season, so I think that's exciting. You know, it's better than 100 to 1 or probably in the past when I've been a million to one.

But it doesn't change anything. I guess it just shows that I've been playing well, and I should have a chance if I do what I've been doing.

Q. You saw it pretty up close and personal a little bit at the Presidents Cup, but what did you learn about Tom Kim the player and person, because you're obviously playing with him this week again, as well.

MAX HOMA: Yeah, Tom is obviously a rock star. I think first and foremost, he's an amazingly nice person. I've listened to him on podcasts as of late, and he's great. He's got like that fresh outlook on the game of golf, which is cool. He's 20 years old, so that's amazing to even be out here.

I know he's been playing professional golf for a little while, longer than you'd expect a 20-year old, but to be able to qualify for the Presidents Cup at that age is crazy to me. He played awesome all week. He was the catalyst of the team I felt like. His emotion was cool.

As competitive as golf is, and that's why we play it, part of it is entertainment, and I feel like he also has that extra kick of being very entertaining and lovable and somebody you want to see succeed. Yeah, it was cool to see him kind of burst on the scene there because I know he had been playing some really great golf prior, but that was a big stage, and he handled it awesome.

JACK RYAN: We appreciate your time, and best of luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
125446-1-1002 2022-10-05 18:29:00 GMT

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