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Homa in dreamland after maiden win but McIlroy left with regrets

 

On top: Max Homa with the Wells Fargo title
On top: Max Homa with the Wells Fargo title

By Phil Casey

American Max Homa overcame an untimely weather delay to claim his first PGA Tour title as Rory McIlroy squandered his chance of a third victory in the Wells Fargo Championship.

Homa, who began the day in a tie for the lead with Joel Dahmen and Jason Dufner, carded a final round of 67 at Quail Hollow to finish 15 under par and three shots clear of Dahmen, with Olympic champion Justin Rose a shot further back.

The 28-year-old from California birdied the fifth, seventh, 10th and 11th and was facing a five-foot putt to save par on the 14th when play was suspended due to bad weather.

After a 62-minute delay, Homa calmly converted the putt to remain three shots ahead and a two-putt birdie on the par-five 15th effectively sealed victory for a player ranked 417th in the world at the start of the week.

Asked for his reaction, Homa said: "Like I'm in a dream. I didn't know if this day would ever come, let alone just keeping my (PGA Tour) card.

"But I've been working my tail off and I've been seeing a lot of great results. It's cool to do it here because I love this place. It's great for my family, my fiancée - I'm getting married in a few months - everything's good."

McIlroy, who began with six straight pars, looked certain to close the gap to the leaders after hitting two superb shots to the par-five seventh, only to race his eagle putt four feet past the hole and miss the birdie attempt.

Another three-putt resulted in a bogey on the ninth and McIlroy's hopes evaporated on the par-five 10th, where he was within 50ft in two but proceeded to duff two chip shots and run up a double-bogey seven.

McIlroy, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Saturday with a third round of 68 to lie two shots off the lead, signed for a closing 73 to finish in a tie for eighth.

Sergio Garcia shared fourth place with Dufner, Paul Casey and Rickie Fowler after dropping two shots in the last three holes in a closing 68.

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