Six shots back to start the day, J.B. Holmes fired an 8-under 64 and then beat Jordan Spieth and Johnson Wagner in a playoff to win the Shell Houston Open. Here’s what went down in the final round at the Golf Club of Houston.
Leaderboard: J.B. Holmes (-16), Johnson Wagner (-16), Jordan Spieth (-16), Russell Henley (-14)
What it means: The win is Holmes’ fourth on the PGA Tour and comes after two close calls already this season - a playoff loss at Torrey Pines and a near-miss at Doral. Unlike at the WGC, when he opened with a low round and spent the rest of the week losing ground, Holmes went out early on Sunday and posted the number to beat. Once in the playoff, he flagged his iron on the second playoff hole from 183 yards and two-putted from 10 feet for a par and the win.
Best of the rest: One up to start the day, Spieth made a 12-foot par putt on the final hole of regulation to post a 2-under 70 and tie Wagner and Holmes at 16 under. But the 54-hole leader was eliminated on the first playoff hole when he failed to get up and down for par from the right bunker, appearing visibly upset by a sound that disturbed him during his third shot. Wagner reached extra holes thanks to a 3-under 69 capped off by 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th green. After halving Holmes on the first extra hole with a par, Wagner three-putted the second extra hole, lipping out his par attempt to hand Holmes the win.
Round of the day: Six shots back to the start the day, Holmes went out in 29 and got as low as 9 under through his first 12 holes, at one point taking a three-shot lead. The 59 watch came to a screeching halt with five pars and a bogey from Nos. 13-18, resulting in an 8-under 64 that, more than an hour later, forced a playoff with Wagner and Spieth.
Biggest disappointment: Monday qualifier Austin Cook, one shot back after 54 holes, finally fell back to Earth with a 3-over 75. He won’t be going from a mini-tour to the Masters, and now he won’t be going to Harbour Town either. A top-10 finish would have gotten him into the RBC Heritage in two weeks, but the 24-year-old unfortunately finished T-11.
Shot of the day: Holmes’ iron from 183 yards on the second extra hole finished 10 feet behind the flag and likely played a part in Wagner rolling his long birdie attempt well past the hole. Holmes didn’t convert for a three, but the shot nonetheless won him the tournament.
Quote of the day: “I just knew I had to play a really low round to have a chance. I started out great, and it just worked out for me.” - Holmes