CHARLOTTE, N.C. – J.B. Holmes takes the lead into the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday, but if he wins, it’s a comeback win.
It’s a comeback from brain surgery, elbow surgery and a broken ankle, all health woes that have hit him over the last three years.
“I'm happy to be out here and go out tomorrow and do the best I can, and if I win, that's great,” Holmes said. “If it ends up not being my day, then I'm just thankful to be out here, and happy to have the opportunity that I have.”
Holmes, 32, is a two-time PGA Tour winner. He left the Tour late in the summer of 2011 to undergo brain surgery, an operation to correct Chiari malformations, structural defects in the cerebellum that were causing vertigo. Complications required a second surgery.
Out of golf for almost five months, Holmes made a successful return to the PGA Tour in late January 2012. He made $.1.1 million that year, finishing 82nd on the FedEx Cup points list. Holmes, though, would have more physical challenges. He broke an ankle rollerblading in March of 2013. Later that year, he underwent elbow surgery. He missed nearly an entire year, making his return this year at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
Holmes said the time away was a blessing in disguise. He said he was frustrated with his game.
“I thought it might be the best thing that could have happened to me,” Holmes said. “Gave me a year off from golf. I got to spend time with family and friends and did a lot of rehab, so it wasn't all vacation, but it was nice to get away from it a little bit.”
A year ago, Holmes spent this week at the Kentucky Derby, with golf far from his mind, but he’s excited about the return of his game. He started this year on a medical exemption but has already met the requirements to keep his card. He tied for 10th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March. He’s coming off three consecutive top-20 finishes. Come Sunday, he’ll be looking for the ultimate affirmation that his form has fully returned.