PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Max Homa described his second round in one word: scrappy.
“It was pretty fun to rely on my short game and have it bail me out,” he said. “I’ve been working hard to make a weakness to at least be average. To have it be a strength today was awesome.”
Homa made six birdies en route to shooting 3-under 68 at Riviera Country Club on Friday, his 13th consecutive round at par or better at The Genesis Invitational. He improved to a 36-hole total of 10-under 132 and a one-stroke lead over Keith Mitchell and Jon Rahm.
After an early birdie at the third, Homa made bogeys at six and eight, but bounced back to make four birdies in a five-hole stretch.
“I’m doing a good job of not dwelling on bogeys and thinking my golf game’s not there,” he said. “I thought I did a great job on the front nine knowing that I was going to play better.”
The lone non-birdie between Nos. 9 and 13 may have been the best of all as he rescued par from a fried-egg lie in the front bunker.
“I deserved it, but oddly enough, if that wouldn’t have plugged and gone back in the middle of the bunker, I don’t think I could have gotten it as close,” Homa said. “So it was probably a lucky break, oddly enough.”
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Through 36 holes, Homa, who won this event in 2021, is leading the field in putting, gaining more than three strokes in each round so far.
“I think I see the bumps on the poa annua green and I don’t cringe, doesn’t give me the shivers, I enjoy it,” he said. “I know people are going to get frustrated and I like that in a competition.”
Homa enjoyed his first share of an 18-hole lead and he was proud that he was able to build on that on Friday.
“I kind of feel like I should be doing this when I’m playing well, and I am playing well,” he said. “Yeah, it’s exciting, 36-hole leads are awesome. Like I said, there’s a long way to go, but regardless, I can rest on the fact I’m playing great golf and I’m just going to try and do that for two more days.”