Ever since the 18th hole on Sunday the golfing world has been criticising Holmes for his slow play at the Farmers Insurance Open
Justin Thomas Defends JB Holmes Over Slow Play Incident
Coming down the last hole at the Farmers Insurance Open, Holmes needed an eagle to tie the clubhouse lead.
Standing in the middle of the fairway with his second shot, the four-time PGA Tour winner was left with a dilemma on whether to lay up or to go for the green.
After 4 minutes and 10 seconds the American decided to lay up, stating later he felt he had a better chance at making a three by holing out a wedge rather than attempting to keep a fairway wood on the firm green.
Holmes received widespread criticism from fellow pros and others from inside the golfing world, including former world number one Luke Donald and Mark Calcavecchia.
However, world number four Thomas leapt to his defence saying: “If you put me on the 18th fairway and I need an eagle to win the golf tournament or to have a chance to win the golf tournament, I would do the same thing.”
Thomas added: “If I have a 5-wood in my hands that thing’s going to go high and into the wind, which is gusting around, the ball’s likely going to finish in the water.
“Even a 3-wood, as long as he hits it, has no chance. You saw where Alex Noren hit it, and J.B.’s probably longer than Noren, so then he’s got no chance.”
Although Thomas defended Holmes he did agree with the length of time it took to hit, stating: “I get it, 4 minutes, 10 seconds is a long time, but there was nobody behind him.
“It was also the last hole, if you need a 3 to win the golf tournament then you need to take as long as you can.”
Thomas mentioned that slow play was a problem on tour and it is one the players need to discuss, but the American felt to place the final group’s six-hour round on the foot of Holmes is unfair.
The seven-time PGA Tour winner felt a lot of sympathy towards Holmes saying: “It was a bummer. I hate it for him, how much he’s getting bashed and ridiculed.
“This sport is very much about committing and being a 100 percent in what you’re doing. I honestly applaud him for waiting and making the decision until he was ready, because he was just trying to win the tournament.”
Holmes and Thomas are both in action at this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.
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