‘Horrendous sportsmanship’ or a methodical approach? Pros have mixed reactions regarding Holmes’ slow play

January 29, 2018

J.B Holmes didn’t get into a playoff at the Farmers Insurance Open, but he sill gained a lot of attention for his actions on the 72nd hole of regulation.

Playing the par-5 18th at Torrey Pines Sunday, Holmes took 4 minutes, 10 seconds (tracked by Golf Channel) to play his second shot to the green, and Alex Noren, who was tied for the tournament lead, had to wait for Holmes to play before he could hit his second shot. But both the CBS telecast and players and writers on social media pointed out that Holmes could inadvertently be “icing” Noren.

Holmes, after deciding between clubs and accounting for the wind, eventually laid up and made birdie when he needed eagle to tie clubhouse leader Jason Day (who later won in a Monday playoff). Holmes later told Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner that he was “still trying to win,” and that he ended up deciding he had a better chance to hole a wedge.

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While some thought Holmes made a major mistake, others defended him.