J.B. Holmes overcame a four-shot deficit to beat fellow Kentuckian Justin Thomas by a single shot and win the Genesis Open at Riviera in California.
J.B. Holmes wins Genesis Open
J.B Holmes came through a marathon Sunday at Riviera to claim victory in the Genesis Open and his first PGA Tour title for three years.
Holmes closed with a one-under-par 70 that was good enough to see off Justin Thomas, who struggled over the final nine holes and carded a final round of 75.
Holmes and Thomas had to play 34 holes on Sunday because of rain delays on Thursday and the final day had its fair share of weather too. The third round was completed largely in pleasant sunshine before the wind whipped up in the afternoon, making play far more difficult – particularly on the greens.
Coming into the back nine, Thomas maintained his lead and was one ahead on the 13th green. Holmes holed a clutch 12-footer for par before Thomas missed his par effort from a few feet closer. He then missed for bogey and the resulting double saw him drop a shot back.
But it wasn’t over – Thomas had a chance to get back into a tie on the 17th but missed a six-foot birdie effort and he had a try for birdie on the home hole that would have forced a playoff. When it missed, Holmes was the winner.
“I knew it was going to be very difficult to shoot a low score,” Holmes said. “I needed some help from Justin.”
Thomas felt he let one get away.
“I struggled putting in the wind out there,” Thomas said. “Unfortunately, it showed a flaw in my game. It was obviously very difficult. J.B. won. He played great. It’s always a bummer to hand a tournament. I feel like I should have won that thing.”
Tiger Woods played himself into the tournament with a third round of 65 but he couldn’t maintain the pace in round four. He finished with a 72 and ended the week tied 15th.
“I got tired,” Woods said. “I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I definitely felt it today. Wind, cold. I was at 10 (under) and I slipped four shots coming in. That’s the way it goes.”
Si Woo Kim fired a closing 66, the best score of the final round, to climb the board and finish third. Rory McIlroy almost got back into it by holing a bunker shot on the 16th to get within two shots, but he failed to birdie the par-5 17th and was fooled by the wind and made a bogey on the last. He carded a 69 and tied for fourth with Marc Leishman of Australia.
Another Australian Adam Scott had a poor final round. He stumbled to a 76 to fall down the leaderboard into a tie for seventh. Jordan Spieth had a terrible final round – An 81 that included a double bogey, triple bogey and quadruple bogey… It was his second highest score as a professional.
Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California
Purse: $7,400,000 Par: 71
1 J.B. Holmes (USA) 63 69 68 70 270 $1,332,000
2 Justin Thomas (USA) 66 65 65 75 271 $799,200
3 Si Woo Kim (Kor) 68 70 68 66 272 $503,200
T4 Marc Leishman (Aus) 69 69 67 68 273 $325,600
T4 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 72 63 69 69 273 $325,600
6 Charles Howell III (USA) 69 69 68 69 275 $266,400
T7 Adam Scott (Aus) 66 65 69 76 276 $238,650
T7 Michael Thompson (USA) 69 64 73 70 276 $238,650
T9 Dustin Johnson (USA) 73 66 69 69 277 $177,600
T9 Kelly Kraft (USA) 69 68 69 71 277 $177,600
T9 Hideki Matsuyama (Jap) 71 69 70 67 277 $177,600
T9 Carlos Ortiz (Mex) 67 72 69 69 277 $177,600
T9 Jon Rahm (Esp) 67 70 69 71 277 $177,600
T9 Vaughn Taylor (USA) 67 69 74 67 277 $177,600
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage