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Amateur golf: Valencia alum Homa T-2nd at U.S. Amateur

Posted: August 13, 2012 8:18 p.m.
Updated: August 13, 2012 8:18 p.m.

Based on how he’s played all year, it would figure that Valencia High alumnus Max Homa is off to a roaring start to the biggest amateur golf tournament of them all.

In Monday’s opening round at the U.S. Amateur Championship, Homa birdied six holes on his way to a 5-under 65 to move into a tie for second place among the massive field of 311 players competing just outside Denver.

Leading up to this week, Homa, a University of California, Berkeley senior has recorded three top 20 finishes in five amateur tournaments over the summer.

Before that, during college season, Homa helped Cal win its first Pac-12 title in school history and later advance to the semifinals of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship in May.

Now at No. 30 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Homa is continuing his summer tour in Colorado, where he’s competing in his third straight U.S. Amateur.

The tournament takes place at two venues — CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora, Colo. and Cherry Hills Country Club in nearby Cherry Hills Village, Colo — which allows for the large number of entrants.

Homa played his first round at the par-70 CommonGround course and he’ll tee off at the par-71 Cherry Hills today at 12:55 p.m. for round two.

As long as he stays in the top 64 by the end of the day, he’ll move on phase two of the tournament, the match-play bracket.

From there, the remaining 64 players will be pitted in one-on-one elimination matchups beginning Wednesday and running until a winner is crowned on Sunday.

All match play will take place at Cherry Hills.

Last year at the U.S. Amateur, Homa finished stroke play tied for 81st after two days in Erin, Wisc. and missed the cut.

His best finish came in 2010 when he made it to the final eight of match play at University Place, Wash.

That year, he was tied for 24th in stroke play.

In other words, he’s in position for a personal best this year as he sits two strokes behind leader Bobby Wyatt, at 7-under.

Homa is also tied with Cal teammate Brandon Hagy.

After a 10th-tee start, Homa birdied four of the first nine holes he played on Monday, and his lone bogey on the day came later in the day on the par-3 6th hole.

He quickly recovered from it with back-to-back birdies on 7 and 8.

Today, Homa will have to deal with Cherry Hills, which played as a much more difficult course by nearly four strokes on average compared to CommonGround on day one.



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