Max Homa is only 31 years old. His eyesight shouldn’t be that bad. But apparently, he can’t track his ball from only 160 yards away. “I’ve got terrible eyes,” he says.
So, even as his tee shot tracked toward the flagstick on the par-3 14th hole at Bay Hill on Saturday, not only did Homa bothered to watch it, he turned his back. “I was walking back to get water,” he would later tell NBC,” and everyone went nuts.”
Of course, they did, because Homa’s ball landed about 15 feet short of the hole, took a couple of soft bounces and lightly tapped the stick before dropping in. The tees were up on the 14th in the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and Homa used a pitching wedge from 163 yards. It was the first ace of his PGA Tour career.
“It’s weird to write a ‘1’ down,” Homa said with a grin.
There was a really strange coincidence involved with this ace. A year ago in the third round of the Palmer, Homa was grouped with Jazz Janewattananond, who made a hole-in-one. The next day, Kris Ventura scored an ace, though Homa wasn’t there to see that one. In all, there have been six aces on the 14th in the tournament’s history.
Even with the ace, Homa shot 37 on the back for a 73 total because he double-bogeyed the 11th and bogeyed the 17th and 18th. He stood at even par entering the final round.