Max Homa has 'blast' playing at North Berwick halfway through Scottish Open
“Yeah, it's a bucket list golf course,” said Homa of the famed West Links in the East Lothian town, “I never play 36 holes a day during a tournament week but, for North Berwick, I had to.”
The four-time PGA Tour winner was accompanied by Scott Gillies, one of Martyn Huish’s assistant professionals, and two “buddies”.
“I saw it on a video back in the day and I've been wanting to go for years,” added Homa after carding a bogey-free 66 - the effort contained an eagle and two birdies - to leap up the leaderboard in the Rolex Series event. “Very, very fortunate to have Scott take me out.”
As an American coming to Scotland, what's the appeal of links golf? “I love it,” declared the 31-year-old Californian. “There's obviously amazing golf courses in the US, but I enjoy this style of golf more. I just like playing the ball along the ground. I like the conditions. I like stuff like that.
“It's just different and it's really good to see what we are going to have to do for next week (in the 150th Open at St Andrews). That's why playing North Berwick was so good because it's more like St Andrews than Renaissance is.
“It was cool to get to experience two different links-stye golf courses and playing when it's firm and fast.”
What did he shoot as he followed in the footsteps of lots of his compatriots, including five-time Open champion Tom Watson?
“I don't really know, but probably a few under” said Homa. “We won our match so that's all that matters. I did eagle the eighth hole. I hit 3-wood to 12 feet, which was really fun, and so that is my claim to fame.
“And our entire group - me, Mark, Joe and Scott - all birdied 18. Joe was walking around the putting green today asking people if they birdied the 18th at North Berwick.”
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.