Missing the Masters was hard enough for Max Homa, who was a month away from making his debut at Augusta National.
What really stung was missing the tournament that made him eligible for the Masters.
Homa won his first PGA Tour event a year ago this week at the Wells Fargo Championship, starting the back nine with a pair of birdies to build a big lead and closing with a 4-under 67 for a three-shot victory. Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of his favorites, and that was before he won.
When he returned a few months ago to help promote the tournament, he was given his own locker in a special room for tournament champions that include Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Jim Furyk.
“That’s something I wasn’t expecting,” Homa said. “Quail Hollow holds a special place in my heart. They care so much about everyone who comes through there.”
Homa at least gets to carry the title as defending champion for two years. But getting back to Quail Hollow? That could last a little longer. The tournament next year moves to the TPC Potomac in Maryland because Quail Hollow is hosting the Presidents Cup later in the year.
It goes back to Quail Hollow in 2022.
And at least the Masters is still on the schedule for this year, two weeks before Thanksgiving.
Homa said he was starting to get excited for Augusta National as it got closer. And then it was time to shut it down because of the coronavirus pandemic. But it was Wednesday of what would have been Masters week that he missed it again.
Instead, he spent the week watching reruns.
“Wednesday hurt the most, not doing the Par 3 tournament,” he said. “My wife was excited to caddy. I was excited to blame her for a bad club.
But he hasn’t lost sight of why no golf is being played.
“It’s hard to get caught up about your sad feelings about not playing the Masters when people would do quite a bit to just to be able to go back to work, or to be healthy,” Homa said. “So it’s hard to be down for too long.”