SAN DIEGO – One of the longest hitters in golf didn’t regret laying up on the par-5 18th hole Sunday at Torrey Pines.
Needing a birdie on the last to win, Holmes had only 235 yards for his second shot in regulation. He said the yardage left him in between clubs, and the downslope wasn’t ideal with a pond fronting the green and thick, gnarly rough behind the putting surface.
After laying up with a short iron, Holmes slightly tugged his 76-yard wedge shot and his ball didn’t catch the ridge, leaving him 19 feet above the hole. His birdie putt burned the left edge, dropping him into a four-man playoff.
“If I had the same thing again,” he said, “I would lay up.”
In the playoff, Holmes had no chance at the green after driving into a fairway bunker. From 95 yards he wedged to 4 feet to match Jason Day’s birdie.
On the second playoff hole, the par-3 16th, his 6-iron shot drew too much and flew over the green, hs ball coming to rest in a near-impossible spot. His two-putt bogey wasn’t enough to extend the playoff.
“I had my opportunities today and I feel like most of the time I’m going to come through,” Holmes said, “and today it just didn’t happen for me.”