J.B. Holmes has strongly defended his actions on the 72nd hole at the Farmers Insurance Open on Sunday and says he’s been ‘shocked’ by the backlash he’s received from fellow players and fans on social media.
In the final group and needing eagle to join Jason Day in the clubhouse on ten-under-par, the American took four minutes and ten seconds to play his second shot, only to then lay up.
As a result, he incurred the wrath of his fellow pros and fans on social media, who accused Holmes of affecting Alex Noren, who all the time was waiting to play his second shot and needed birdie to make the play-off.
And, reflecting on the events of Sunday night, Holmes can’t believe that the time he took over his shot has overshadowed Jason Day earning his 11th PGA Tour win.
“I wouldn’t do anything differently,” he told Golf Channel. “It was a difficult shot. I was right between clubs.
“I’m shocked how big a reaction there’s been. There were so many good things that happened in the tournament and for them to be talking about this it really takes it away from them. I’m surprised. It’s not like I took half an hour to hit the shot. This happens on tour, but it’s just not always on camera.”
In a separate Golf Channel interview, Holmes offered an apology to Noren, who ended up losing to Day on the sixth play-off hole on Monday morning, but reiterated that he can’t see why the focus is on him.
“If it bothered Alex, he could have said something and he could have hit,” Holmes told Golf Channel. “If I messed him up, I apologise. He still made a good swing. He smoked it.
“I don’t understand what the big hoopla is all about. I was just trying to give myself the best chance to win the tournament. I didn’t want to mess anybody up.”