NAPA, Calif. — Max Homa moved into place to defend his title on the Fortinet Championship, taking pictures a 5-under 67 on Friday to share the 36-hole lead with Danny Willett on the PGA Tour’s season opener.
Homa, a two-time winner final season and a captain’s choose for subsequent week’s Presidents Cup, had an eagle, 4 birdies and a bogey — his first of the week — for a two-day whole of 12-under 132 at Silverado Resort & Spa.
“The course suits my eyes,” Homa stated. “I hit plenty of wedges as we speak and I have been hitting the wedges very well, so after I get plenty of wedges from fairways like these, I really feel like I can assault the pins.”
The four-time PGA Tour winner performed collegiately at California.
“I’ve received a fantastic help system right here,” stated Homa, who received the 2013 NCAA particular person title. “I’ve received family and friends up right here and a bunch of, you recognize, individuals who respect I went to highschool up right here.”
Willett, winless in the USA since his triumph on the Masters in 2016, shot a bogey-free 64. The English participant stored his PGA Tour card for this season due to gamers defecting to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf sequence.
“Yeah, we type of received handed a lifeline with the blokes leaving, which was good,” Willett stated. “We type of needed to reassess issues and determined we might press on and play a little bit bit extra this fall over right here and actually attempt to get some factors up early.”
Willett has eight titles on the European tour, most not too long ago final October on the Alfred Dunhill Hyperlinks Championship in Scotland.
He had eight birdies in his second spherical and is bogey-free for the week.
“You recognize, the tough is hit-and-miss and with the greens being agency as they’re. To go bogey-free is basically good,” stated Willett, who has solely six top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour since successful his lone main. “The sphere recreation is fairly sharp, the brief recreation’s fairly sharp.”
First-round chief Justin Decrease and Byeong Hun An have been two pictures again. Decrease had a 71. His finest end in 28 earlier PGA Tour occasions courting to 2013 was a tie for eighth. An birdied the 18th and shot 68.
“It is at all times laborious to comply with up a really low spherical with one other good spherical and even decrease,” Decrease stated. “However I’ll take one below as we speak. May it have been higher? Sure, nevertheless it undoubtedly might have been worse as nicely.”
Taylor Moore (68), Matt Kuchar (68) and Sahith Theegala (69) have been 4 pictures off the lead.
Jason Day, Harris English, Charley Hoffman and Webb Simpson have been among the many gamers who missed the lower.