MARANA, Ariz. – Beware the road-weary golfer, that’s the lesson Ernie Els learned on Day 2 and Camilo Villegas on Wednesday at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
J.B. Holmes may have been the last man in the field, to say nothing of being the last man on property, but so far he’s proven that familiarity and rest are over-rated. Holmes rolled through Villegas on Wednesday, 4 and 2, and clipped Els, 1 up, to advance to the Sweet 16 despite never having seen the Dove Mountain course and arriving too late to even play a practice round.
“Half the time the first time you see a golf course I’ve gone out and shot 65 or 66 before,” said Holmes, who was a last-minute replacement in the WGC field when Tim Clark withdrew.
Holmes flew home to Orlando, Fla., following the Northern Trust Open, his fourth consecutive tournament, and didn’t learn until Tuesday that he was in the field.
“I thought about (flying from L.A. to the Match Play),” Holmes said. “(But) I’ve been playing for a month. I didn’t want to sit for two days and waste two days off.”