Something for the journal: Max Homa is at top of the leaderboard

Max Homa (right) and Tiger Woods shake hands at the end of the second round of the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Friday, April 12, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (Hyosub Shin /

Credit: Hyosub Shin /

Credit: Hyosub Shin /

Max Homa (right) and Tiger Woods shake hands at the end of the second round of the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Friday, April 12, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (Hyosub Shin /

AUGUSTA – Max Homa said he began journaling about a year ago. What he wrote down before playing 23 holes of golf Friday at Augusta National proved to be quite useful.

However good I am is however good I am. I don’t need to try to be better than I am, and just see where that takes me.

Where it took Homa was to the top of the Masters leaderboard. He shares the lead with Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler at 6-under par after two windswept rounds were finally completed. The 33-year-old Arizonan could not have been much more pleased to have done what he did to be tied for the lead heading into Saturday’s third round.

It included playing the final five holes of his first round with Tiger Woods and Jason Day to card his career-low of 67 at the Masters, then surviving one of the most brutal wind days in Masters history for a 71 and 6-under for the tournament.

Amid the commotion of huffing gales and the whirlwind of playing alongside Woods on his record-breaking run to 24 consecutive cuts made, Homa was feeling pretty proud of relatively clean second-round card. It included two birdies, just bogey and a bunch of tap-in pars.

“That was about as happy as you could be to be off of a golf course,” Homa said with genuine relief. “That was so hard. We got the sand shower to end our day. It was kind of like the golf course saying, ‘get the hell out of here.’ It was nice. It was hard.”

But Homa was tougher. Not only was his first-round 67 his best-ever round at Augusta, his second-round 71 matched the best he had recorded in four previous Masters. Homa has played here each of the last four years. He missed cuts in 2020 and ‘21 and finished 48th and 43rd, respectively, the last two years.

Like most of his generation, getting to play Woods was a dream come true for Homa. Many have described playing alongside the five-time Masters champion to be a distraction because of the swollen galleries and increased noise.

Homa said he and Day both found it somewhat helpful.

“I would argue they block me and Jason out, so it’s actually quite easy,” Homa said. “… I actually think that was a good thing. It makes things intense. I guess I’m just very internal and quiet. I’m just observing.”

Homa hit a lot of shots over the course of 9-hour day at Augusta National. But he was prouder of none of them than the tee shot he hit on No. 4, the menacing 240-yard par 3. The normal play for him there would be to swing hard with a 4-iron and just be OK with it ending up in the front bunker. But with the encouragement of his caddie, Joe Greiner, Homa decided to reach for his 7-wood into the teeth of the wind.

His ball finished pin high left of the pin. Homa rolled in a 36-foot putt for one of the rare birdies on the hole named Flowering Crab Apple.

“That was pretty awesome,” Homa said, almost giggling. “Yeah, that hole was impossible today and somehow we made a 2. I like that one.”

It wasn’t a perfect day. On No. 3, he hit himself in the head with his driver after losing grip on his follow-through.

“You didn’t mention that I caught it, so just write that down, too,” Homa quipped.

So, now, everything is possible. Homa was reminded, as one might expect, that he’s among the many to have not recorded a victory in a major. He need not have been.

“I just know I haven’t and I would like to,” Homa said. “So, that’s kind of where I’ve been at for the last couple of days.”

Homa said he owes such a chill attitude to his relatively new habit of journaling. He said he tends to write down people and things he’s grateful for first, then gets more specific about his goals for the day.

Homa was asked what he might write Saturday morning before playing in one of the last groups in the third round. He was sure about one thing.

“I’ll be quite grateful to get to play Saturday at the Masters,” Homa said.