JB Holmes will never win an award for his pace of play – although a few fines and the odd penalty shot might be appropriate – but he does now have the Genesis Open title in his possessions. On a day when the slow-moving American bored observers to tears, he also outlasted a leaderboard packed with top names to claim his first win in almost four years.
Holmes will be justifiably criticised for the absurd time he took over his shots and the calls for the tortoises to be punished will only gain volume because of this pedestrian performance. A quite remarkable fact is that he was not even put on the clock during that excruciating final round. Yet there can be no doubting the Ryder Cup man’s talent and resolve in overhauling Justin Thomas.
Holmes was four back of the former world No 1 at the start of the fourth round, but with a 70 compiled in windy conditions, he grasped a one-shot triumph on 14-under as Thomas struggled to a 75. Of course there will be a media inquest on the pace of play, with Holmes at one stage taking almost two minutes sizing up and taking a putt. And it would be wonderful if the governing bodies finally took decisive action to eradicate this curse.