Max Homa believes Tiger Woods is finally realizing the respect he enjoys from his peers after partnering with the 15-time Major winner at the Open Championship.
Homa has made no secret of his admiration for Woods, using his popular Twitter account and self-deprecating humor to write numerous messages to the former world number one over the past decade, even asking him to be his partner at the Zurich Classic Team Event .
The 31-year-old American was therefore suitably elated as he played alongside Woods and US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick for the opening two days at St Andrews, where a tearful Woods likely bade a competitive farewell to the Old Course, where two of them played his Open wins.
Woods was a fairly distant figure early in his career as he single-mindedly pursued his goal of surpassing the 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus, but has been tempered in recent years after numerous off-course troubles.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, Homa – who also missed the halfway cut at St Andrews – said, “18 was the ultimate highlight, but for me, as a golf idiot kid, it means chatting with him on that first day.
“He got off to a bad start (Woods did the first double bogey) and I wasn’t sure if he wanted to talk and he came up to me on three and started talking. That was cool.
“I feel like he couldn’t have been a better playing partner. Like I won’t disturb him while we’re playing, I won’t ask him any questions, but it would have been cool to talk to him anyway, and I thought it was really nice of him to make that effort (for him).
“We had about a six and a half hour lap so we had plenty of time to talk. The one I will remember the most was the 18th walk simply because (it) is a historic moment.
“One of those things where I feel like people are like, ‘I’ll never forget where I’ve been,’ and how, I’ve been there. So I found that neat. And it was cool to see the fans just giving him the most respect he deserved.
“What I took away from that is that he now realizes how much respect we all have for him and how much he means to us and to the game of golf.”
World No. 20 Homa is one of 11 members of the top 50 in the Detroit Golf Club field, with FedEx Cup champion and world No. 4 Patrick Cantlay being the highest-ranked player.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/golf/tiger-woods-matt-fitzpatrick-st-andrews-phil-casey-american-b2132532.html Tiger Woods now understands the respect he enjoys from his peers, Max Homa believes