Max Homa said he’s been working on his putting for several weeks and has felt improvement without results.
Those results are showing up this week at the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota.
The 29-year-old Cal product shot a seven-under 64 on Saturday and climbed to fifth place entering Sunday’s final round. Homa began Saturday in tied for 24th.
The 2013 NCAA champion as a senior at Cal, Homa sits at 12-under for the tournament and trails co-leaders Michael Thompson and Richy Werenski by three strokes. Charl Schwartzel and Tony Finau are tied for third, two stokes back.
Homa carded eight birdies and just one bogey on Saturday to ascend the leader board.
“I really have felt close. I’ve been hitting it fairly well,” Homa said after his round. “In general I have not putted well. I saw some putts go in Thursday
finally. Out here you need to make putts because you need to make birdies. I finally have.”
Homa shot a 65 on Thursday, making seven birdies and just one bogey. He wasn’t as sharp a day later, finishing at one-over 72, a round that included two birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey.
He was terrific on Saturday, with birdies on the first, sixth, seventh, 10th, 12th, 15th and 16th holes before a bogey on the par-3 17th. Then he made his eighth birdie of the day on the par-5 18th for a final score of 64.
Homa talked about getting some advice on his putting that didn’t involve remaking his stroke. “It’s a different formula on how to putt,” he said. “I saw better rolled in the previous two events, the ball just didn’t go in. It’s just a process.”
Homa will chase his second career PGA tour victory, having won last year at the Wells Fargo Championships.
He had failed to make the cut in his past three events and four of five since the pro tour resumed last month after a long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Homa had three top-10 finishes early this season, the best of them a tie for fifth place at The Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades in February.
He sits 57th on the 2020 PGA money list with winning of $1.1 million.
Fellow Cal grad Collin Morikawa, who is 10th on the money list, is not playing this week.
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo
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