Sure, his clubhead speed may be slightly down, from a PGA Tour-topping 125 mph to 121. And yeah, he gained 30 pounds because of a variety of medications that increased his appetite. But only 12 months removed from brain surgery, J.B. Holmes considers his 2012 season nothing short of “phenomenal.”
“My expectations were to try and get competitive again,” Holmes said Wednesday on “Morning Drive,” before he rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
“Maybe it was a little slower than anticipated, or I wanted. It was a phenomenal year for me to be able to come back and get competitive again. These last few months I got my distance back and got competitive again.”
On Sept. 1, 2011, Holmes underwent successful brain surgery to correct a condition called Chiari malformation, a structural defect in the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls balance. Before surgery, Holmes had complained of symptoms such as dizziness, vision problems and headaches.
Holmes, a two-time winner on Tour, returned in January at the Farmers Insurance Open, and three events later he posted one of his best finishes of the season, a T-8 at Riviera. He finished the season with a pair of top 10s and eight top 25s in 23 starts – he played the first three legs of the FedEx Cup playoffs, but did not qualify for East Lake – and earned $1.16 million, making him one of the favorites for the Comeback Player of the Year Award, if the Tour chooses to name a recipient this season.
“It was exciting to finish off a pretty good year,” Holmes said.