As mentioned during the broadcast, Holmes could have been lining up his putt and reading the green on the fourth hole while his playing partner Justin Thomas was doing the same, instead he chose to stand around and wait his turn before proceeding to go through the motions.
Sure, this is allowed, but it is ridiculous and is not only frustrating for viewers, but also the guys playing alongside him. Holmes then proceeded to plum-bob the one-footer he had left, which is a little bit of overkill.
Holmes isn’t the first player this season to be criticized for slow play; Bryson DeChambeau, who does more math, geometry, and physics before a shot than a college professor does in a semester, got under Brooks Koepka’s skin.
“I just don’t understand how it takes a minute and 20 seconds, or a minute and 15 to hit a golf ball — it’s not that hard.”
Koepka later said, “no one ever has the balls to actually penalize them,” of slow players.
“Usually, if you’re put on the clock it’s ’cause you’re slow, and guys keep being put on the clock, keep doing it, keep doing it but no one ever has the balls to actually penalize them.”
This is not the first time J.B. has been criticized for his slow play.
In January of 2018, Holmes took four minutes and 10 seconds to hit a shot that was a layup on the 72nd hole at the Farmers Insurance Open while Alex Noren was forced to wait.
There was plenty of reaction from both fans and pros alike on Twitter during the four minutes, but nothing has changed, and the PGA Tour has yet to mention that it will begin penalizing players for this.
Sure, you could look at some of it as gamesmanship in the moment and say that Holmes is attempting to rattle his opponent, but this also happens on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, not just during the final round.
After winning on Sunday, Holmes addressed his slow play by defending himself and blaming the conditions.
Q. The conditions made things really tough, but there was a lot of discussion on the broadcast and social media about the pace of play today. What were your thoughts about the pace and is that something you were thinking about or working on?
J.B. HOLMES: “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. The greens are fast, the ball Adam had a putt, he kept setting the ball down and it was rolling.
“You can’t just get up there and whack it when it’s blowing that hard. You’ve got to read wind and there’s a lot of slope on these greens. It’s not an easy golf course and you throw in winds like that. On 13 or 14, the par 3, I hit a 5 iron and it stays pretty good. He hits a 5iron really good and a gust of wind comes up and he comes up like 15 yards short, and I think he hit it better than I hit mine. It’s very tough. Then when you get putting like that, it’s just not going to be fast anywhere.”
And then he mentioned that he was never put on the clock:
J.B. HOLMES: “I’ve been slow in the past. I don’t think as slow as I mean, I’m not the fastest player, but I mean, like I said, it was really windy today and we waited a lot early. At the end, I took a little bit longer at the end, but you’re talking about getting down to the tournament, you’re talking about the last nine holes of the tournament. I mean, I think correct me if I’m wrong, but I think a lot of times the last group of the tournament gets a little bit behind.
“So, I was never even close to being on the clock all week. I mean, yeah, when I first got out here I was really slow, but I’ve sped up quite a bit. Like I said, the conditions made it tougher, too. Sometimes you’re waiting for the wind to stop blowing 30 miles an hour. Like I said, I’ve gotten better. There’s times when I’m probably too slow, but it is what it is. I was never on the clock. Nobody never even got a warning. TV wants everything to be real fast all the time.”
And that is the problem. The PGA Tour appears to not care because the longer it takes for these guys to play, the more TV time and advertising dollars they get and instead of worrying about fixing pace-of-play they are more focused on letting players wear shorts during practice and pro-am rounds.
Adam Scott confirmed as much after the final round.
Meanwhile, on the Web.com Tour during the final round of the LECOM Suncoast Classic, Matt Every pulled up a chair on the par-5 16th at Lakewood National Golf Club while waiting for the group in front of him to play.
Agent Drew Carr shared a picture of the brilliance on Twitter and then mentioned that his caddie literally carried it from the 16th tee box on.
Not all heroes wear capes.
Hopefully, one day we’ll see Brooks and J.B. paired together down the stretch on a Sunday and while J.B. is taking his sweet time, Brooks stretches out in a chair and takes a nap.