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Max Homa fires 68 for 1-shot lead in Genesis Invitational

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LOS ANGELES — Max HomaHis experience as the leader at his local PGA Tour tournament used to give him chills. Hes playing so well that it almost feels like normal.

Homa, a Torrey Pines winner last month, had three birdies around the Riviera Country Club turn and made a few big par saves on Friday for a 3-under, 68. He now has a 1-shot lead. Jon Rahm, Keith MitchellAnd Lee HodgesThe Genesis Invitational

Homa hit a wedge from 4 feet to a pin tucked behind a bunker for a birdie. 9, made a birdie of 15 feet on the 10th, and chipped beautifully to a pin back right for a third straight birdie at the par-5 11th.

He also saved par from a bunched lie in the bunker, and made an 18-foot par putt at the 16th. He had trouble off the tee which led to bogey but he was happy at 11-under-131, and his name is on the leaderboard.

He has already won twice this year. He said that he could never do anything better in golf than winning this tournament two years back, the one he attended as a child growing up 30 miles away.

It is quite cool to be able to play well every single week.

Homa stated that she feels like she should do this when she is playing well. Its exciting, 36-hole leads are amazing. As I said, there is still much to be done. However, I can take comfort in the fact that I am playing great golf and will continue trying for two more days.

Rahm is performing even better. He has had nine consecutive top 10s since September, four of which were victories. Rahm is very close to returning to No. He is currently ranked No. 1 in the world.

Even the best need to take a break from time to time. Rahm took a big one Friday night. Rahm took a 5-wood, 270 yards from the par-5 17th green, and cooked it, sailing the green towards the back grandstands. The ball hit the bleachers base, fell along the bunker edge and settled at 3 feet for an eagle.

This culminated a five-hole stretch of 5-under par playing that put the Spaniard in the mix going into the weekend.

Rahm stated that Rahm was very fortunate to get the bounce. Rahm said, Obviously I got very lucky to get that bounce not just to go on to the green but to have basically 3ft up the hill. Thats undoubtedly the best bounce I have ever seen in person in my entire golf career, and it would be difficult to beat in future.

He had seen many great bounces on video compilations before and started to recite some of the more bizarre ones, many of which he saw on the European tour. He has never been the star of any of those shows and maybe he will be in the next one.

He said, I wish its in there, If it beats that, then Id be surprised.

Mitchell played in morning, making five birdies as a way to make up for some mistakes. He was in contention at Pebble Beach two weeks ago.

Collin Morikawa(68), was 2 shots behind, Patrick Cantlay(67) Another shot back. Both grew up about 20 miles away from Riviera.

Rory McIlroyHad a 69 and was 4 back.

Los Angeles has the stars, thanks to Riviera, and part of it due to the strong field competing for a $20 Million purse.

Xander SchauffeleHe seemed certain to miss the cut, until his shot of 173 yards flew straight into a cup on the 17th for an Eagle. He made it on the number.

This report was compiled by the Associated Press.

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