J.B. Holmes wins Genesis Open

He beat Justin Thomas by a single shot at Riviera CC in California

J.B. Holmes wins Genesis Open
J.B. Holmes wins Genesis Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

J.B. Holmes won for the first time in three years

J.B. Holmes won for the first time in three years

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.

Tiger Woods finished tied 15th

Tiger Woods finished 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.

Genesis Open Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California 14-17 February 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

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?