There are a variety of lion/hunter/predator analogies you can use to describe Max Homa’s weekend at the DP World Tour’s Nedbank Golf Challenge. Headlining the event alongside fellow safari mate Justin Thomas, Homa was the only player in the field to shoot four rounds in the 60s, cruising to a four-shot victory. The title is his second of the year, sixth in the last three years, and moves him to No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking (I know, I know).
Because our attention spans are increasingly short and golf seasons are increasingly long, it’s easy to forget just how impressive Homa was to begin 2023. He started the year with a win and four other top-10 finishes in his first seven starts. He struggled through a mid-season dip, but since a T-10 at the Open Championship, Homa has returned to his old self. According to Data Golf, each of Homa’s last seven performances has resulted in Strokes Gained figures above his season-long average. Going purely off results, this end-of-season run has helped him accrue a total of 12 top-10 finishes in 2023, a career-best by a wide margin.
Over the last three years, we’ve seen Max Homa continue to raise his floor while occasionally flashing for victories. After yet another career best this year, it’s reached the point where he is undoubtedly a top-10 player in the world. It’s not just that his best is good enough to beat anyone. It’s that now his B or even C game can still get him in the mix. It’s that when he shows up to an event as the best player in the field, like at the Nedbank, he plays like it.
For the second season in a row, Homa will start 2024 on the back of a very strong fall, still in search of elite performances in the biggest events of the year. It’s time to see if he can make one more career leap.
This piece originally appeared in The Fried Egg newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.