It’s not often that a player wins a tournament and is then criticized by the media but that’s the exact position J.B. Holmes is sitting in after winning the Genesis Open last Sunday. And what Holmes did to bring upon the hate is the same problem that has been driving all players and fans crazy, the pace of play.
Normally, a win of this magnitude would be have been a feat that Holmes could bask in for a little while. He came into the final round a few strokes behind Justin Thomas, one of the best players in the world, and was able to outplay him enough to come out with a come from behind victory. But the time it took their threesome to play is what’s really catching everyone’s attention as they were on the course for five and a half hours.
Holmes is notoriously one of the slower players on the PGA TOUR and in this case, his group was so slow that they were a full hole behind the group in front of them for a majority of the final round.
B. Holmes prepares to hit a shot on the 2nd hole during the continuation of the first round of the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club on February 15, 2019 in Pacific Palisades, California Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
Holmes didn’t seem bothered by the slow play issue when asked about it, however, saying: “Well, you play in 25-mile-an-hour gusty winds and see how fast you play when you’re playing for the kind of money and the points and everything that we’re playing for,” Holmes said. “You can’t just get up there and whack it when it’s blowing that hard.”
And Holmes does have a point, as the conditions were terrible at Riviera this week. Inclement weather ran through consistently and resulted in multiple rounds having to be played on the same day. The wind gusts also hit over 30 mph and it takes some time to try to figure out how to cut your shot through the wind. On the other hand, all other groups had to deal with these issues and still outpaced Holmes’ group by a lot.
It’s starting to get to the point where there is a pace of play complaint every week and it is becoming increasingly clear that this is the most pressing issue in golf right now. Hopefully, someone will be able to find a solution to the problem soon or else this issue will continue to grow.
Cover Photo via Instagram
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