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Despite missing U.S. Open cut, it's been quite a run for Homa

  • AP PHOTO Max Homa tees off on the eighth hole during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Merion Golf Club, Friday in Ardmore, Pa.
    AP PHOTO Max Homa tees off on the eighth hole during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Merion Golf Club, Friday in Ardmore, Pa.
Published June 15. 2013 09:02AM

ARDMORE - It's Father's Day weekend and what would have been better than be able to see your son make the cut and be playing in the final round of the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club.

John Homa, who was born and raised in Nesquehoning and graduated from Marian High School in 1971, has been involved in acting for the last 25 years and is a successful acting coach.

His son Max, who just completed his senior year at the University of California, help lead his team to 11 tournament wins and was the medalist at the NCAA Championships in Georgia this spring.

Max flew home to compete in the U.S. Open qualifier one week later and survived a playoff to join California teammates Michael Weaver and Michael Kim.

John's 22-year old son was born right before his father passed away so Max never got to meet him.

Homa was just one of two golfers to birdie the No. 17 par three in the first round, that he finished up Friday morning after yesterday's round was suspended. He had to go out and play his second round about an hour and 15 minutes after finishing the first round and shot 8-over par to end up 11 over and failed to make the cut.

When it all sinks in, Max and John will definitely go over what has turned out to be just like a dream for them.

"The first round went well," Max said after signing his card before running for a quick lunch. "I was pretty nervous. I got off to a pretty rough start on Thursday and Friday. I thought I hung pretty tough in the first round. I played the last stretch of golf (Friday morning) really well and that's the toughest part."

Homa was sitting at five under, but birdies at the No. 11 par 4 375-yard hole and the one at 17 (243 yards) gave him a positive outlook ending with a 3-over 73 after 18 holes.

"I hit a really good shot into 17 but it was a little long," Homa said. "I don't think you can get it real close to be honest. I hit a real good chip, but it was more the read than the chip. I kind of knew it was in and started laughing.

"It was a good bonus because I was trying to get in at four, figuring I was at five earlier so I would be pretty pleased. Three over is a huge bonus."

Homa was hoping that coming back rather quickly would help. But the winds picked up and it wasn't in the cards.

"It was easing up with the wind dying a bit early," Homa said. "I'm almost getting used to it. The greens are a little faster than they were Thursday so I'm hoping I got into a kind of groove."

Starting on the 11th hole to begin the second round, Homa bogeyed the 12th hole to go four-over and parred 13 and 14. The par-four 15th saw him get a double bogey sending him down to six under. He bogeyed 18, and double bogeyed both Holes 1 and 2 and after bogeying 8, birdied 9 and ended up with a 78.

Homa talked about what the whole experience was like.

"It's been like a dream," he said. "It's been pretty cool. The roar I got on 12 in the first round was pretty awesome. I made a long putt there and it got me back in a positive mode and when I got that at 17, I told my caddie, we both said that was the most coolest moment in our lives.

"It's everything it's cracked up to be and motivates me even more to get here on a regular basis."

Homa will wait to turn pro in hopes of earning a spot on the Walker Cup team in September.

And you could bet your last dollar, that this won't be the first and last Major that Max plays in.

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