Somewhere Kevin Na is letting out a long sigh. Thanks to JB Holmes’ play on the 18th hole of the Farmers Insurance Open Na is no longer the poster boy for slow play. The glacial moving Holmes now lays claim to the title of the slowest player in golf.
Whether or not Holmes is actually the slowest may be up for debate but his performance cast him front and center as to what is so very wrong with the pace of play displayed by too many professional golfers.
Holmes stood over his approach to the par five eighteenth hole for an eternity. The Golf Channel timed it at 4 minutes and 10 seconds and if that is accurate that’s over 3 minutes more a player is allowed to take his shot. Really? And to add insult to injury he decided to lay up…and he hooked his layup into the rough! Geez!
So while JB vacillated over his shot Alex Noren, who had a real shot at the green and at winning, was forced to wait and wait and wait and get cold and aggravated before he could hit is approach. Holmes had already blown his chance by choking his way through three consecutive bogeys on the back nine.
Noren changed clubs during the wait and maybe, just maybe if he can play his shot in a timely manner he hits another club or isn’t so wound up and over shoots the green as he did.
No one will convince me that Noren wasn’t iced by the delay. It’s akin to icing the kicker and if Holmes is unaware of the effect his pussyfooting has on his playing partners then he is not just slow he’s stupid.
But the buttoned up PGA Tour players would never call out their fellow player for something like this…or would they. Check out what Luke Donald, Daniel Berger and Mark Calcavecchia had to say and there’s more criticism here, here and here.
I was a JB fan for awhile. After all, this is a guy who came back from brain surgery…two brain surgeries to play and win again on the tour. And that’s a great story but Holmes slow play has used up any good will he had earned. It’s a blight on the tour and since the PGA Tour refuses to do anything about it maybe it’s time the players took matters into their own hands.
Slow play gets talked about by everyone outside of the PGA Tour. The LPGA and the European Tour hand out penalties each year to slow pokes. Since the Tour moves about as fast as JB does on this the rank and file need to step up.
I was hoping Noren would just go ahead and hit his shot or better yet walk over and give JB a smack or two. Oh, but I even I realize that would be a bit too much. But heck, someone needs to tell these snails that they are hurting their fellow players. Six hour rounds aren’t good for anyone.
But nothing will be done and we’ll be forced to watch more of this during the year and the talking heads will rant about it and the magazines and websites will condemn it and the players…well most of them play quickly but those that don’t, like JB will just keep on keeping on…and on and on and on and on.