PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – A day that began with great promise ended in disaster for J.B. Holmes.
Holmes shared the 54-hole lead at The Players Championship, a position he has held six times before on the PGA Tour. He turned three of those previous chances into wins, but had no such luck Sunday as he ballooned to a 12-over 84.
Holmes’ score was the highest by any player at TPC Sawgrass since 2009, and it dropped him into a tie for 41st at 3 over par.
“I’m going to have to digest it. Right now, I don’t know. I’m pretty disappointed,” Holmes said. “I’ll have to think about it. I’m sure there’s something to learn, but right now it’s just not off the top of my head.”
Holmes bogeyed the first hole, and while he rebounded with a birdie on No. 2 his round came unraveled when he played the four-hole stretch from Nos. 5-8 in 4 over. He was already well out of the mix when he put two balls in the water on No. 17 en route to a quintuple-bogey 8, then closed with a double bogey on No. 18.
Holmes also hit a spectator in the head when his tee shot sailed left on the par-3 eighth hole, leading to a bogey.
“Obviously you feel bad. You’re not trying to hit anybody,” he said. “At the same time, they’re standing around the green in a lot of wind, so they know the danger. We’re good, but we do hit errant shots. I hope she’s OK. Wasn’t trying to hit her and sorry I hit her, but obviously that’s not where I wanted my ball to go.”
Holmes was not the only player to fall victim Sunday to the difficult conditions on the Stadium Course. Defending champ Jason Day closed with a final-round 80, as did Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose, while former champs Martin Kaymer and Rickie Fowler finished with rounds of 78 and 79, respectively.