Cal Athletics

Waiting Game Pays Off For Homa

Golfer Remains Amateur For Walker Cup
By Cal Athletics on Tue, July 23, 2013

After the past few months, it would only seem natural that Max Homa would move on to start a career in professional golf.

Homa won the Pac-12 individual championship at the beginning of May, the NCAA individual championship at the end of May and then qualified for the U.S. Open in June.

Homa is playing about as well as an amateur can and has exhausted his eligibility at Cal, seemingly making the time right to jump to the pros.

But for all that Homa has accomplished at Cal, there is one item left on his bucket list – the Walker Cup.

Homa will be able to cross that off his list as well in September after being named to the USA Walker Cup team last week, along with Cal teammate Michael Kim. The 44th Walker Cup, which features amateurs from the United States against the same from England and Ireland, will be held Sept. 7-8 at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y.

Homa could have started his pro career after the NCAA Championships but intentionally remained an amateur to see if he would land on the Walker Cup team, which is selected by the United States Golf Association.

“It felt like a dream come true to get the call,” Homa said. “I kind of made a sacrifice and took a risk, so to hear that it worked out is a kind of a blessing. The Walker Cup is the pinnacle of amateur golf. To be able to represent your country in any sport is unbelievable. To get that opportunity really hit me.”

Homa was named a first team PING Division I All-American after the season. He was Cal’s first-ever individual medalist at the NCAA Championships and was briefly ranked No. 1 in the country in September.

Homa landed in the U.S. Open at the Merion Golf Club after earning a spot at a sectional qualifying event in Newport Beach.

“You couldn’t draw it up and execute it any better,” Cal coach Steve Desimone said. “It’s a wonderful story.”

Homa’s first duty as a Walker Cup team member was to keep his selection a secret. He received the call from a USGA member on a Sunday but couldn’t tell anyone but his parents until the team was made public on The Golf Channel that Wednesday.

“My parents had a harder time keeping it a secret than I did,” Homa said. “They told me they did, but I don’t know if they did or not.”

While much was expected of Homa and the Bears this past season – Cal was ranked No. 1 in the country most of the season and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA championships – Homa said it still surpassed his expectations.

“Looking back on it, it’s been a crazy run,” Homa said. “It’s not that I didn’t think it could happen, but you never expect it to happen like this. I knew we could have a pretty good season. But after Pac-12s and (NCAAs), the whole dynamic of my year changed. It really changed my life in so many ways.”


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