Max Homa made more than a five-shot jump in putting from round one to round two on Friday at the 2022 Tour Championship, an incredible turn on the greens. However, after a few off-course conversations, he attributed the lowest score in 15 years at East Lake.
The four-time PGA Tour winner still has a lot of ground to gain over Scottie Scheffler if he’s going to add to that tally, but an eight-under-par 62 has catapulted him up the FedEx Cup standings and to the position of tallest brought payday to his career.
“I had a nice chat with my wife on the car ride home yesterday and had a great chat with my caddy, and then a really good one – I asked my coach if we could talk five minutes before the warm-up today and just have a drink “Could have advice,” Homa told reporters afterwards. “Because I think I know what I’m doing. I just needed advice on what not to do.”
The “it,” as Homa put it, was putting too much pressure on himself – especially converting birdie putts – instead of just having confidence in his abilities.
“I felt like I deserved to play well and I didn’t even allow myself to,” explained Homa. “I come in, hit a great drive, a great 9 iron at 10 feet and I think I have to do it. You just did two great things. Why don’t you just see what happens and trust that you did it? At work?”
Homa posted six birdies and a closing eagle during the bogey-free round, nine shots better than Thursday’s 71. After starting the tournament’s unique staggered start with two under par, Homa is nine under par after 36 holes.
The 62 is the lowest score of Homa’s PGA Tour career and the lowest PGA Tour season finale score since Zach Johnson hit a 60 in the third round in 2007, the inaugural year of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Johnson finished second this week with Mark Calcavecchia, eight shots behind Tiger Woods.
“I think it’s a small sample size today. Sometimes the ball just wants to go in,” said Homa, who is also trying to make the US team for next month’s Presidents Cup. “But I think I’ve done a good job with the putter and it feels really good in my hands and I feel really liberated today and just try like I said just try to trust myself, try to put the ball in the hole instead of trusting myself.”
“It never listens,” Homa said, “so today I tried not to talk to it that much and just shoot it.”