Max Homa looked like he had the Genesis Invitational won on the 18th green at Riviera.

After sticking his approach closer than anyone had all day, and needing a birdie to win outright, Homa stepped up to a short putt that looked like a formality.

Unfortunately, this happened:

That’s a brutal miss, and an avoidable one; even Nick Faldo noted that the putt is just inside right, while mics on the course picked up Homa and his caddie discussing it being a dead center putt. A millimeter to the right and that ball might drop in.

The miss meant a playoff  against Tony Finau, with both players headed to Riviera’s famed short par-4 10th hole. Finau and Homa both attempted to leave themselves left of the tricky green, and both of them did indeed end up left. Homa, though, ended up in a brutal spot, pinched up against the base of a tree.

That’s just incredibly bad luck. Coming off of that missed putt, it might have been the breaking point for a lot of players. Homa, though, took it in stride; literally, in fact, as CBS showed him approaching the lie and upon seeing the situation going right to work on how he’d play it. That resulted in this, one of the most incredible shots of the golf season.

You can keep your Bryson DeChambeau-length drives. That kind of club control, creativity, and poise is just impossibly good. CBS offered a slow-motion look, where you can see Homa turn the club over to provide some hook spin and pull the ball left, which was his only chance given the tree’s impact on his swing path.

Homa just barely missed his birdie putt, but escaping at all, much less hitting the green, may have been enough to pressure Finau into folding. After Homa’s effort, Finau proceeded to blow a putt for the win (leaving it low and short), before hitting it into the bunker on the second playoff hole and failing to get up and down, sealing the win for Homa.

Finau remains stuck with just one career win. Homa, meanwhile, picked up his second at an event he’s always wanted to win.

Homa is a fan favorite for a variety of reasons, from his engaging and entertaining social media presence (Homa roasting swing videos introduced him to a very wide audience) and his Get A Grip podcast with Golf Channel anchor Shane Bacon. But most of all he just seems like a down-to-earth person, who is willing to laugh at himself, too. It’s a too rare quality in sports, and it’s especially rare in golf. That’s probably partly explained by his background, which isn’t the usual path traveled by PGA Tour pros.

A very fun end to a very fun week at Riviera, one of the best golf courses in the world by any standard and certainly one of the best tests of tournament golf on the annual schedule.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.