On the 72nd hole at the Farmers Insurance Open on Sunday, J.B. Holmes took a total of four minutes and 10 whole seconds to hit one single golf shot. Sound ridiculous? It is. Jason Day had finished at 10 under par and was tied with Alex Noren for the lead, who was in the fairway on the last at Torrey Pines. Noren was waiting to hit into the Par 5 18th, whilst Holmes who was in the same group as Noren, was also hitting into the green. Holmes needed an eagle 3 to possibly tie with the leaders, but was currently 239 yards from the hole about to hit his second. He took four minutes and ten seconds to decide on a club to hit, and the backlash was just as you would expect. The PGA Tour Player Handbook and Tournament Regulations after all states that “a player is permitted 40 seconds to play a stroke.”
Tour players were quick to respond to the incident, and none seemed to be backing up Holmes.
Last group was over a hole behind, we can all blame JB…and yes the player should take responsibility for their pace of play, but if they don’t that’s why we have Tour officials – they needed to step in a while ago IMO.
— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) January 28, 2018
Most tour players aren’t slow but because of a handful of slow ones we all get a bad rep
— Daniel Berger (@DanielBerger59) January 28, 2018
I guess rules only apply for some players. That was ridiculous how long it took him to play that shot. The rules officials need to change your policy on slow play and be more active on slow players and you won’t have these 5 1/2 six hour round. @PGATOURmedia @GolfChannel #fines
— Ken Duke (@DukePGA) January 29, 2018
Afterwards, Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner asked Holmes whether he regretted his actions. “No, I was still trying to win. So that’s part of it.” Holmes eventually laid up, made birdie and finished fourth, meanwhile Noren patiently waited before unleashing a 3 wood over the back of the green, making par and now as we all know, lost against Jason Day in a playoff. Asked whether the wait affected Noren, he said, “Well, not necessarily, not necessarily. It’s just, you know, probably made me switch clubs.” What do you think? Was Holmes’ waiting unsportsmanlike toward Noren and the rest of the field? Did it halt Noren’s momentum? Should Holmes be penalised?
Let us know and tag a slow player!