The viral video of Max Homa hitting at fans? Here’s what happened 


Max Homa

Max Homa on Saturday on the 14th hole at TPC Sawgrass.

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Max Homa himself admitted it was scary. 

John Maginnes, who had been nearby, called it dangerous. 

And Sunday, more folks had more words on a moment during Saturday’s third round of the Players Championship that had gone viral. During the sequence, from the right rough on the 14th hole at TPC Sawgrass, Homa’s fourth shot flew in the direction of fans to his right, struck a tree and ricocheted out to the left.    

But phone cameras were recording. And the questions came.

Did Homa hit someone? One video, shared by a fan near the tree and circulated widely, appeared to show that. On the clip, Homa’s ball darted almost directly at the phone, there was a thud and the phone panned down. There were a few “oohs” in the background.  

What did it look like on PGA Tour Live, though? This week, every grouping was broadcast — and Homa’s shot was shown in real time and on a replay. The former was shot from behind Homa and slightly to his right, and from that view, Homa hit, there was a faint noise, Homa looked forward and then he looked out to the left, before walking in that direction. 

“That hit the tree, kicked left, going to end up in the fairway bunker,” said Maginnes, a PGA Tour Live on-course reporter. 

“Um, that, that was dangerous.”

The PGA Tour Live replay was shown from a camera that appeared to be about 50 yards away and in the fairway to Homa’s left. From that view, Homa hit, and it showed the ball striking the tree, along with showing the dozens of fans lining the area. 

Said announcer Brian Katrek on the broadcast: “Let’s take a closer look, and incredible camera angle. John, you were not kidding. That was …” 

Said analyst Matt Every: “It hit the tree.” 

Said Katrek: “I mean, I’m not sure about our depth perception, but it did not appear that that was but a couple feet from some spectators’ heads.” 

Said Maginnes: “You’re right. Including a commentator’s head.” 

Said Katrek: “Wow.”

Later, a fan video shot from immediately behind Homa also became widely shared, and from that view, dozens of fans were clearly in Homa’s line — and it showed how close his ball came to hitting someone. It raised more questions. 

Should Homa have asked fans to move back farther? Should fans stand that close? Notably, these are not new concerns in pro golf, but they occur frequently. 

After his Sunday round at the Players Championship, Homa shared his side, via an interview with Golf Digest’s Christopher Powers. He said he should’ve asked the gallery to back up. He said he ‘knifed’ the shot. He called the scene scary. 

For clarity, here is the exchange shared by Powers:

Said Powers: “Max, there’s a video clip, I think, from the 14th hole yesterday. Did you hit a branch? Someone was standing way too close in your line. It looks like you almost hit the guy in the head. Did you hit a branch yesterday on 14?”

Said Homa: “Yeah, the tree, yeah.” 

Said Powers: “The tree.” 

Said Homa: “Yeah.” 

Said Powers: Do you think people stand a little too close to you guys sometimes in situations like that?

Said Homa: Yeah, mostly. I mean, I asked them to back up. They backed up their normal three or four steps. And I was trying to go much higher than that, but, I mean, at some point, I can only ask — yesterday, I should have probably asked for them to move more, but I didn’t think I was going to knife it. But typically you ask them to move, it’s like two steps back. I just think that [inaudible] thrown caution to the wind at times with their own safety. Glad I did not hit anybody. And yeah, it was scary. I was trying to go significantly higher than that. So it was unfortunately freaky, but I gave some people a good story. I heard a lot of people laugh and [inaudible] they got that out of it.” 

Later Sunday, Homa tweeted this:

“FYI I did not hit anyone in the head on 14 yesterday. It smoked a tree. Really thankful it missed the guy. That would have been devastating. Cool video tho if I do say so myself.” 

It also drew this exchange, started by a Twitter user:

“dude you didn’t even check to see if anyone was ok, you watched where the ball bounced off to instead ugh. Please do better my man please!”

Replied Homa: “This is true. The main reason I didn’t check to see if everyone was ok was because my ball hit the tree and not one of the people. I would however like to apologize to anyone who was emotionally scarred cuz that had to be scary”

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.




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