Whats Up Holmes


Or should that headline, as one E-mailer suggested, be Sweet Holmes Arizona?
Anyway, the people who manage the exploding career of J.B. Holmes gave him three numbers to savor moments after he woke up Monday morning, just hours after winning the FBR Open in Arizona.
They were: Four, Nine and 77.
Four, Holmes was told, was where he now stood on the current 2006 PGA Tour money list. Nine was where he now stood on the current American Ryder Cup points list. Seventy-seven was where he now was listed on the World Golf Rankings'down from 464.
Really? Holmes blinked.
To be sure it was heady stuff for the 23-year-old prodigy from Kentucky.
On the other hand, the 23-year-old prodigy from Kentucky does not lack for a certain confidence. When he tied for 28th at the Buick Invitational recently he told his agent, Terry Reilly, he had played terrible. When he tied for 10th at the Sony Open Holmes said he played O.K.
So far, though, it appears to be a confidence that stops well short of arrogance. Holmes was tired Monday morning after beating a field that included Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh by seven shots. And he was glad that he was on a private jet bound for Alabama.
Thats where he planned to hang out this week with his sister who is in veterinary school at Auburn. His parents would be joining him. And a few of his best buddies.
Then J. B. Holmes, the newest next big thing in golf (can it be that Bubba Watson is yesterdays news already?) will double back to the west and tee it up in the Nissan Open at storied Riviera.
Holmes vs. Woods in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play championship the week after Riviera would have been a delicious thought. But it wont happen.
The cut-off for eligibility for the match play is this weeks tournament at Pebble Beach. Even if Holmes were to win his second straight event at Riviera, it would be too late to qualify for La Costa.
A duel between Woods and Holmes will have to wait for another stage. Holmes, for his part, will be ready.
Deep down, says Reilly of Holmes, hes a ham.
But hes a pretty serious young ham. On the eve of the final round of last years Q-School Holmes and his parents discovered that Reilly, a Roman Catholic, would be attending an evening mass because he hadnt been able to get away from the tournament in the A.M. Holmes and his parents, non-Catholics, asked Reilly if he minded if they went along with him to church. He didnt. So they did.
Holmes management company also represents John Daly. The similarities and the dissimilarities between the two are so obvious as to be not worth noting. Whats more interesting is that Daly and Holmes have never met.
Dont be surprised to see a clamor at Riviera if Daly and Holmes play a practice round together. Dont be surprised also to see a lot of cameras on the golf course the first time Holmes and Bubba Watson play a round of golf together either. That hasnt happened yet either.
But J.B. Holmes has happened. In a big way.
My favorite headline remains: Holmes Sweet Holmes.
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