Wells Fargo 2022 Championship standings, grades: Max Homa shows dramatic improvement in fourth Tour victory

An up and down battle in Potomac, Maryland saw Max Homa win his second Wells Fargo Championship title. A 2019 winner at Quail Hollow Club, the Californian has now won four trophies in 72 PGA Tour events – good for a winning percentage of 5.56% over that span.

Rising from the depths of his early struggles on golf’s biggest stages has been well documented, but the improvement from just 2021 to 2022 deserves some light. Now a two-time winner this season, Homa joins Scottie Scheffler, Hideki Matsuyama, Cameron Smith and Sam Burns as a multiple winner.

As pure ball-striking as it gets, Jim “Bones” MacKay once called Homa “the top 10 ball-striking” on the tour when he was on his sack at the PGA Championship last year. The 31-year-old might not be there yet, but he’s definitely on his way.

But to say that Homa’s shots have been the problem since 2019 would simply be wrong. It can run icy on the greens and is ridged at the best of times. At this year’s Masters, he insisted enough was enough.

Moving on to putting guru Phil Kenyon, Homa implemented AimPoint into his green reading routine at the Zurich Classic. “Phil showed me New Orleans, I would read them and he would ask me where I thought I should start and then he would show me where I was and I was pretty far,” Homa said after his third round at the Wells Fargo Championship. “So I’ve been practicing a ton with my feet, making sure I’m doing the best I can. Obviously it’s still new, I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered it by any means, but I’m getting a little bit better every day at home, really hard, making sure I practice percentages and little things like that.”

It certainly didn’t start off without a hitch. Homa lost nearly two shots to the greens on his first nine on Thursday, and frustration and doubt could have easily crept into his mind. When using such a change, confidence can often be hard to come by when the results aren’t instantaneous – especially for a player like Homa who has expressed his inner conviction so much.

Yet that inner belief continues to grow, and his performance on the greens of TPC Potomac could be the perfect synthesis of Homa’s rise in the golf world. He won nine strokes in the field with his putter over the next 63 holes and in doing so cemented his name in conversation for the United States Presidents Cup team.

He’s got a full game, killer instincts, and always gets the job done when in the heat of a nine-man battle. The major championship resume has yet to catch up with Homa’s talent level, but I’m confident it will. Soon pundits and peers alike won’t be calling Homa a “top 10 ball striker”, but rather one of the top 10 players in the game. Rating: A+

Here are the rest of our ratings for the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship:

T2. Cameron Young: Chad Ramey won this season, but I think we can all agree that Young is in the driver’s seat for Rookie of the Year honors. No matter what kind of course he follows, the 25-year-old always has the potential to struggle given his skill set. First tee shot to green this week, it was only a cooperative putter away from giving Homa a real run for his money. Instead, he had to settle for a silver medal and the fourth podium of his rookie campaign. Rating: A

T2. Matt Fitzpatrick: He keeps knocking on the door and conventional wisdom suggests he will eventually break through, but it was yet another close call for Fitzpatrick. The Englishman hasn’t done anything out of the ordinary aside from putting, but perhaps we should consider that a positive considering how he’s played from tee to green this year. Combined with his affinity for tough conditions, Fitzpatrick could be an intriguing option two weeks into the Southern Hills – and even more so for the US Open at the Country Club, the site of his American amateur triumph in 2013. Rating: A-

5. Rory McIlroy: With a month to go, McIlroy started his Wells Fargo Championship with a bang and looked like a major factor over the weekend. A second-round 3 of 73 was his eventual loss, but he should be optimistic given his other three rounds. He ranked in the top 15 in every strokes gained metric except around the green, where he narrowly lost strokes on the course, marking his first negative performance since the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. last August. His game has looked sharp all year, and he finds his name under only Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm on the PGA Championship odds board. Grade: B+

T21. Ricky Fowler: He arrived at TPC Potomac without a top-40 finish in 2022 and is leaving the DC area after showing signs of life. Fowler’s iron game has continued to be a bright spot, as he’s now won approach shots in four straight tournaments, but the putter finally coming to his aid is what excites me. Tenth in strokes gained on the week, the bentgrass return has treated Fowler well as he prepares for the PGA Championship. The only major championship he has qualified for this season, he will look to continue his 2021 performance at Kiawah Island which saw him finish tied for 8th place. Category B


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