Luke Donald on sluggish final group at the Farmers: Blame J.B., but Tour officials needed to step in

January 29, 2018

J.B. Holmes caught the ire of some of the golf world when he took several minutes to play his second shot on the 72nd hole of the Farmers Insurance Open on Sunday and perhaps inadvertently “iced” playing partner Alex Noren.

Holmes, Noren and Ryan Palmer were the final group at the Farmers, and all three were chasing clubhouse leader Jason Day, who was in at 10 under. Noren was tied for the lead, Palmer was one back and Holmes was two back.

After Palmer hit his second shot on the par-5 18th, Holmes, needing an eagle to tie Day, took several minutes — Golf Channel timed it at 4 minutes, 10 seconds — before he hit his second shot. Holmes was weighing his options and concerned about the strong winds, and eventually several members of the gallery were fed up and on his case. Holmes eventually laid up to in front of the pond and made birdie, but he missed the playoff by one. Noren, hitting after Holmes, hit a fairway wood over the green and made par to join the playoff with Day and Palmer, who made birdie on 18.

But Holmes’ delay didn’t sit right with everyone, especially since Noren had to wait while being in a position to win the tournament with a birdie. It was already a long day at the Farmers, as groups went off in threesomes and the final threesome needed about six hours to finish. (Play was so backed up that earlier in the day Tiger Woods waited for about 25 minutes before playing a par-3.)

Luke Donald was among the pros who took to Twitter to address golf’s latest example of slow play.

Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner asked Holmes about the delay after the round.