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19th Hole

GolfWRX Members and PGA Tour pros rip JB Holmes for his 4-minute deliberation (and layup)



It’s been three days since J.B. Holmes took more than four minutes to hit his second shot at Torrey Pines’ 18th Hole during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open, and, oh boy, hot takes aplenty from fellow pros and GolfWRX members.

Holmes needed eagle to tie for the lead at the par-5 18th on Sunday. With 230 yards to the green, J.B. debated whether to aim for the putting surface or lay up. Four-minute long story short, he laid up (in the rough) and didn’t make eagle. Making matters worse, his playing partner, Alex Noren, would have won the tournament with a birdie, but he was effectively iced by Holmes (you could make the argument Noren should have been able to rise above, or merely told Holmes he was going to go ahead and hit).

We’ve heard from Holmes himself, who apologized, but didn’t seem to understand the outrage as he was “trying to win the tournament,” his fellow pros, and talking heads aplenty.

Now, let’s see what the GolfWRX membership has to say about the incident. And J.B., if you’re reading, avert your eyes. The first point to note: There were multiple “J.B. Holmes’ slow play” threads active prior to the incident at the 18th, which were merged into a single thread after “Fourminutetencecondgate.” Anyway, here’s a sampling of the responses from this now 13-page long thread.

Now, to be fair and balanced, the most diplomatic response was one of the first in the thread.

Mjen43 writes

“I don’t care about pace of play on television. They’re not holding me up, I’m just sitting here watching.”

Zz24hours (which is nearly as long as J.B. took) says

“That JB Holmes 2nd to 18 was borderline unsportsmanlike, moronic.”

Straightshot7 says

“They did just take 6 hours to play. That’s a problem. JB needs someone to follow his group with a shot clock and an air horn.”

North Texas looked at the situation from Noren’s perspective

“If I’m Alex Noren, I’m absolutely livid.” He later added, “Not only that, he [J.B.] “chickened out” and didn’t play to get into the playoff.”

Deadsolid…shank pointed out some potential lasting damage

“I’ve always been a JB fan. That just changed.”

Knock it close, ultimately, may have had the best take.

“Until someone other than a 14 year old asian kid [Guan Tianlang at the Masters in 2013] in is made an example of nothing will change. All other rules are enforced by the PGATour, why pace of play isn’t is beyond me.”

If you’re fired up about pace of play on the PGA Tour in general, or the J.B. Holmes ordeal in particular, you’ll want to check out this thread, because the GolfWRX membership has all the angles covered.

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  1. James

    Feb 1, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Did somebody really spell second with a c?

  2. Jose Pinatas

    Jan 31, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    JB Holmes looks like he should be riding a unicycle between shots, scarfing down a bar S hotdogs leaving ketchup, mustard, and relish stains on his shirt. Works part time at the local tire service repair shop, and has a show on FX titled Baskets…

  3. Tartan Golf Travel

    Jan 31, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    JB was wrong. At some point you need to hit the ball. Also play to win. Choked down on a 3 wood if 5 wood wasn’t enough but you play to win. Also it was much longer than 4 mins. Palmer hit first so he had a few mins while Palmer was hitting to decide as well.

  4. Mandy

    Jan 31, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    So far I haven’t heard anyone even mention the high winds and wind gusts that JB was having to contend with right when it was his turn to take his shot. I have seen other more notable golfers take far more time than that to wait out the sudden gusts of wind. The only reason that this is even being discussed as much as it is, is because CBS didn’t have anywhere else to go and everyone got to watch and wait. Had JB not laid up, it wouldn’t have been blown out of proportion as it has been.

  5. The dude

    Jan 31, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Topic is stale….move on

  6. Ed

    Jan 31, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    In golf and contract law — TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE :-O

  7. Curt

    Jan 31, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    JB needs to get his act together on the course. He’s a pro, and need to act like it, by respecting the pace of play for all concerned.

  8. TONEY P

    Jan 31, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    I support Holmes, playing to win a tournament with one shot that can make a difference. You need to take your time, nobody complained about Jack sitting over putts for a minute when they counted. If his group time was slow then remember it’s a group effort. Also freezing your opponent is part of most sports people. The gripers need to play more stroke tournaments to learn.

    • James T

      Jan 31, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      Icing your opponent, in particular the FG kicker in football, is okay… and acceptable. Not in golf. Sorry, if Nicklaus took a minute over a putt it doesn’t give Holmes the privilege of taking 4 minutes over a wedge shot. The two can’t even be compared. In the end the coward was just playing for 2nd place. The next morning Noren showed what a golf hero looks like by going for the green in 2. I’ll take Noren over Holmes any day.

    • Tartan Golf Travel

      Jan 31, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      But he didn’t play to win. After all that he laid up! It was actually longer than 4 minutes. Palmer hit first so he was there for a few minutes prior. You don’t slow play your opponent in golf…..especially in stroke play. You are just wrong on every point.

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19th Hole

Retired pro cricketer blasts Kevin Na for slow play. Is he right?



A tweet and follow-up video from a retired English cricketer are making the rounds in the golf social mediaverse and snackable content realms. And while most agree that it’s not a good look for golf when Kevin Pietersen, who has more than three million Twitter followers, mocks Kevin Na for taking a small eternity over a putt and slow play is an issue on Tour, Pietersen may not exactly be hitting the mark.

Anyway, here’s the tweet and succeeding tutorial.

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Surely it’s hyperbole to call the putt a “tap-in,” no? But given the length of the putt, how excessive is the amount of time Na took?

And for the millionth time, expecting players like Kevin Na (who prefers a…deliberate pace) to play quickly because it’s courteous, isn’t going to happen. Pro golf is the man’s job, and he clearly believes he does it best when he does it slowly with great deliberation. Expecting Na, or any other player of a similar mindset, to change without outside influence (slow play penalties) is unrealistic.

In other words, Pietersen ought to include @PGATour in his tweet as well.

Update: Na posted this defense/explanation on Instagram. 



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19th Hole

On the range at PGA National: Gerald is missing, a major winner throws down the WITB gauntlet, Artisan sighting



GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. And just like Monday, there was plenty of visual interest Tuesday. We got WITB looks at Sergio Garcia, Harold Varner III, and Ian Poulter, in addition to others, as well as a look at a new Toulon offering. Two galleries of general range photos as well, for your viewing pleasure.

Here are a few of the best shots.

We’ll start with Sergio Garcia, who is gaming some absolutely savage stuff since signing with Callaway. Apex MB irons with the Sergio Garcia logo and a chrome finish that’d make an exhaust tip blush.

Garcia is also gaming this Toulon Azalea putter, appropriately.

Also in the Toulon department, Cody Gribble’s Toulon San Diego is, classy. It…stays classy, if you will.

Interestingly, we spotted Gribble with this Nike Engage wedge. And is that an Artisan Golf stamp? Hmm…

A quick scan of Harold Varner III’s bag revealed Gerald, Varner’s iconic puppet-like headcover to be absent. Upon closer inspection, Gerald is embroidered on HV3’s putter cover. Does this mean Gerald the headcover is no more? Say it ain’t so!

The only Ben Hogan staff bag on Tour. And a beauty it is! J.J. Henry with a set o’ Hogan PTx irons.

We spotted Ian Poulter with some Superspeed Golf sticks and a…baseball bat? That can’t be right. What is that thing? At his side in case Ted Bishop comes around?

Poulter, one of the most frequent flatstick flippers, also looks to be a new admirer of the work of Rife Guerin, as he was testing both an Evnroll and Rife Antigua putter. We’ll see what he puts in play.

Oh boy, the putter buffet was fully stocked at PGA National Tuesday. Golden Corral has nothing on these offerings.

A helping of Odyssey…




…makes you want to fill up a plate and come back for seconds.

Check our full spread of photos from Tuesday at PGA National below.

Tuesday’s Photos

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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19th Hole

11 insights from Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington’s wide-ranging chat



Paul Kimmage of the Irish Independent got Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington to sit down for an extensive and wide-ranging interview. That alone is an achievement.

McIlroy and Harrington, the greatest golfers in recent memory from Northern Ireland and Ireland respectively, have never been the best of friends. That isn’t to say they’ve been adversaries, they’ve just never been particularly chummy.

Both men, accomplished and insightful, are great interviews individually. Together, however, the transcript is even better. Harrington, for example, can probe McIlroy in a way a reporter can’t. And McIlroy is compelled to answer the elder statesman when he calls him on the carpet for trying to act like Tiger Woods in press conferences, for example.

Here are a few of the more insightful portions of Kimmage’s Q&A.

Harrington and McIlroy prepare for tournaments in very different ways

PH: And we have a very different way of preparing for tournaments. He likes to play early, I like to play late. I’m not prepared to do his thing, he’s not prepared to do mine…
RM: Yeah, what’s the best way to prepare?
PH: I like a good sleep and to play later.
RM: I’m up at five every morning.
PH: I can think of nothing worse than playing practice rounds when you do.

McIlroy’s tournament week is structured with little socializing outside his inner circle

RM: Yeah, for example, I’ve rented a house this week and I have a chef and everything revolves around that house. I get back (after playing) and there’s six people in the house and that’s my week: I don’t see anyone else; I don’t want to see anyone else.

See above

PK: What about you, Rory? Any player you’re close to?
(Long pause)
PK: I’ll take that as a no.
RM: Not particularly, but I think that’s more to do with the stage I’m at in my life. If Erica wasn’t with me, I’d reach out to some people or play a practice round or whatever. But I wouldn’t be particularly . . .

They keep their trophies in very different places

Where do you keep your Claret Jug?
RM: (Nods to Pádraig) Ssss . . . plural.
PH: Sitting on the breakfast bar in the kitchen at home.
RM: I don’t have it on display. I have a trophy room, but if you were in the house you would never find it.

Three majors would be a failure for Rory, both agree

PH: I’m at a stage where I’ve done what I need to do. You’re at a stage, Rory, where you’re still trying to get more . . . actually, I’m going to say this, and it’s probably not what you want to hear, but four Majors for you is a failure.
RM: I 100 per cent agree.
PH: Three Majors for me was an over-achievement. I love what I’m doing and I’d like to win another one, but I’m well aware that I’m not going to change my legacy at this stage. Whereas you’re still on that path.

McIlroy admits he doesn’t have Harrington’s “mental stamina”

RM: (smiles) Yeah, he’s the ultimate . . . at 46, I’ll probably be at the point where I accept what I have – he does not accept it. There’s always something to work on; there’s always something to get better at. That’s where we differ as well; I don’t know if I have the mental capacity or the mental stamina to get up every morning and do that.
PK: You don’t?
RM: Yeah, to practise like that. The way he goes about it is too mentally draining for me.

Self belief or the lack thereof determines the quality of Rory’s play

PH: There are two things that stand out with Rory; the first thing kills him but it also makes him and that’s his belief: when it’s there it’s phenomenal, and when it’s not there it hurts him. When he has it he sends people running scared, and when he doesn’t have it he fades – you can see that from the sideline.

Harrington thinks McIlroy often comes off as cold in interviews

PH: I don’t think I’ve ever been in your company where I haven’t walked away thinking you’re a nicer guy than I thought beforehand. And yet, media-wise, you can sound quite cold and clinical at times and I think: ‘He’s trying to be Tiger Woods.’ Because you present this . . . wall.

When Rory and Tiger played in November, Tiger insisted Rory bring his dad

RM: On the night before we played (in November) Tiger sent me a text: ‘Why don’t you bring your dad along?’. Dad wasn’t sure. “I’ll leave you two to it,” he said. “I don’t want to get in the way.’ So I sent him a text: ‘No, I don’t think he is going to make it.’ He texted me back: ‘Oh, come on! When he is ever going to get a chance to play with two former number ones?’

McIlroy thinks Spieth is golf’s most underrated player

RM: I had a chat with Brandt Snedeker last night and we both said it: “Jordan Spieth is the most underrated player in the game.” When you look at what he’s done, and what he’s achieved, but all you hear are negatives.

Neither seem to be fans of Brandel Chamblee

PH: They can’t see the X factor. Dustin Johnson hit a drive a few weeks ago (in Hawaii) and one of the main TV commentators said it was the greatest shot ever hit.
PK: Brandel Chamblee.
PH: Talk about hyperbole.
RM: It was nonsense.

All this is but the tip of the iceberg of a frank, insightful, and often funny exchange. Check out the full transcript of the sit down here.


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19th Hole