Holmes keeps comfy lead thanks to ace, birdie run

By Rex HoggardMarch 8, 2015, 12:13 am

DORAL, Fla. – Public service reminder: daylight saving time begins on Sunday. You know the drill – spring forward, fall back.

We offer this unsolicited advice only for the sake of J.B. Holmes, because at the rate the bomber is going at the WGC-Cadillac Championship it may be the only thing that could keep him from his first WGC win.

For three days Holmes has dismantled the Blue Monster like a lumberjack not a surgeon. At the new and, arguably, improved Doral his unique skill set is unrivaled.

Check the record, he’s first in driving distance (321-yard average), first in approach shot distance from the pin, first in strokes gained-tee to green and first in putts made distance.

At a golf course that rewards the bash mentality, Holmes is a free-swinging, right-handed slugger who has pounded his way to a five-stroke advantage.

“There are definitely a few holes where you can take advantage of it; if you can get the driver and get it to go over a few bunkers depending on what the wind is, definitely can be an advantage. It's a long golf course to start with,” said Holmes, who moved to 11 under following a third-round 70.

For the sake of competitive clarity, the supporting cast isn’t exactly playing for “B flight” honors just yet. Holmes is, after all, just 1 under in his last 36 holes after beginning the week with a 62 that sent Doral kingpin Donald Trump into damage control.

According to various sources, including Trump, The Don didn’t appreciate his south Florida jewel being manhandled by Holmes on Day 1 and let the PGA Tour know it.

WGC-Cadillac Championship: Articles, videos and photos

Asked on Saturday’s "Morning Drive" if he had any impact on how the Tour set up his Blue Monster, Trump’s answer was telling.

“A lot. Well, let me say this, for the first day I had none. I disagreed, and I said to them that I disagreed that it was set up easy,” Trump said. “The second day I protested. I said, look, we built this as a world championship course and I don’t think the tees should be far forward. They don’t have to be all the way back, but they shouldn’t be forward. I think I probably had a psychological impact, I don’t know.”

But it wasn’t all carnage and collapses on Saturday on the Blue Monster. Within 30 minutes the Trump Invitational went from being a competitive horror flick to a highlight reel with Rickie Fowler holing a shot from the fairway at the par-4 11th followed by aces from Holmes and Dustin Johnson.

From 1990 to 2014 there had been no holes in one at Doral’s fourth hole. On Saturday, in less time than it takes to watch a sitcom, J.B. and DJ had two.

“When you’re atop the leaderboard and you can get a hole in one, that’s awesome,” said Holmes, who like Johnson teed off with a 7-iron at the par 3.

It also proved to be particularly good timing for Holmes, who opened his round for the second consecutive day with a bogey to drop back to 8 under and into a tie with Ryan Moore for the lead.

The ace, Holmes’ second in competition, gave him a cushion and after a bumpy stretch through the turn he birdied four consecutive holes starting at the 14th to distance himself from the field.

A bogey at the last only lessened the psychological impact on the rest of field slightly. Johnson (69) and Bubba Watson (70) will begin Sunday’s final 18 five strokes back, adding to the notion that more so than any other golf course on Tour Doral rewards power.

Moore is alone in third at 5 under, while world No. 1 Rory McIlroy remains mired in early-season rust after a third-round 72 left him 10 strokes out of the lead. Worst yet he still has one more trip up the eighth hole.

On Friday, the world No. 1 left a golf ball and a 3-iron in the lake adjacent to the par 5. Saturday was only slightly better, with McIlroy sending his tee shot into a tree and having to take a drop on his way to a bogey. For the week he’s played the hole 3-6-6. Feast, famine, famine.

Still, Holmes has never gone wire-to-wire on the Tour, a unique position that demands an aversion to protecting a lead.

“I think you have to learn how to [go wire-to-wire]. I think that's something that just sort of comes from experience,” said McIlroy, a man who speaks from experience.

But Holmes does have the luxury of opening his week with a course-record tying 62, which was 11.47 strokes better than the field average on Day 1. Asked if he would have taken three rounds at even par the rest of the way, Holmes didn’t hesitate, “Oh yeah,” he grinned.

“That round was huge,” Holmes said. “In my opinion it’s better than a 59 and it has shown in the scores, there are fewer guys under par now than on Thursday. There’s not many who have gotten close to it.”

Nor are there many who have much of a legitimate chance to catch Mr. 62 on Sunday at Doral barring some sort of disaster. Just remember J.B., spring forward, fall back.

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What's in the Bag: Tour Championship winner Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 24, 2018, 12:48 pm

Tiger Woods won his 80th career title on Sunday at the Tour Championship. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: TaylorMade M3 (9.5 degrees)

Fairway Woods: TaylorMade M3 (13 degrees), M1 2017 (19 degrees)

Irons: TaylorMade TW Phase 1 prototype (3-PW)

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (56, 60 degrees)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS

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McCarthy tops Bae in Web.com Tour Finals 25

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 24, 2018, 11:51 am

The Web.com Tour handed out 25 PGA Tour cards for the 2018-19 season based on how players fared in the Finals series. Here are the final standings after Sunday's Web.com Tour Championship.

1. Denny McCarthy: $255,793

2. Sangmoon Bae: $218,156

3. Robert Streb: $187,460

4. Peter Malnati: $157,296

5. Cameron Davis: $126,675

6. Adam Schenk: $125,798

7. Lucas Glover: $125,212

8. Matt Jones: $112,000

9. Hunter Mahan: $107,505

10. Roger Sloan: $84,307

11. Shawn Stefani: $80,579

12. Seth Reeves: $80,360

13. Max Homa: $78,200

14. Roberto Diaz: $70,326

15. Stephan Jaeger: $69,923

16. Curtis Luck: $64,920

17. Nicholas Lindheim: $59,169

18. Dylan Frittelli: $48,600

19. Wes Roach: $48,100

20. Sepp Straka: $47,844

21. Cameron Tringale: $47,760

22. Ben Silverman: $47,700

23. Michael Thompson: $45,466

24. Fabian Gomez: $43,657

25. Jim Knous: $41,931

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DJ moves back to No. 1; Woods to 13th in OWGR

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 24, 2018, 11:05 am

Justin Rose did just enough to claim the FedExCup title Sunday at the Tour Championship, but Dustin Johnson's late surge was enough to vault him back into the top spot in the World Ranking.

Johnson shot a final-round 67 to finish in third place, while Rose stumbled with a 3-over 73 for a share of fourth. DJ lipped out a birdie putt on 18 that would have given him a shot at the FedExCup crown, and that allowed Rose to clinch the $10 million prize with a two-putt birdie.

Tiger Woods continued his incredible surge up the World Ranking with his 80th career win at the Tour Championship. Woods moved up from 21st to 13th after a two-shot victory over Billy Horschel. It marked Woods' seventh top-10 finish of the year.

Horschel made the other big move of the week jumping up from 48th to 35th with his second place finish. Outside of a WD in Boston, the 2014 FedExCup champion had another great run in the playoffs finishing T-3 at the Northern Trust, T-3 at the BMW and second at East Lake.

Here's the top 10 after the PGA Tour season finale.

1. Dustin Johnson

2. Justin Rose

3. Brooks Koepka

4. Justin Thomas

5. Francesco Molinari

6. Rory McIlroy

7. Bryson DeChambeau

8. Jon Rahm

9. Rickie Fowler

10. Jordan Spieth

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McCarthy wins Web.com Tour Championship by 4

By Associated PressSeptember 24, 2018, 2:14 am

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Denny McCarthy won the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship on Sunday to earn fully exempt PGA Tour status and a spot in the Players Championship.

McCarthy closed with a 6-under 65 for a four-stroke victory over Lucas Glover at Atlantic Beach Country Club. The 25-year-old former Virginia player earned $180,000 to top the 25 PGA Tour card-earners with $255,793 in the four-event Web.com Tour Finals.

''It's been quite a journey this year,'' McCarthy said. ''The PGA Tour was tough to start out the year. I stuck through it and got my game. I raised my level and have been playing some really good golf. Just feels incredible to finish off these Finals. So much work behind the scenes that nobody really sees.''

McCarthy finished at 23-under 261.

Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship

Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, closed with a 69. He made $108,000 to finish seventh with $125,212 in the series for the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200.

Jim Knous earned the 25th and final card from the four-event money list with $41,931, edging Justin Lower by $500. Knous made a 5-foot par save on the final hole for a 71 that left him tied for 57th. Lower missed an 8-footer for birdie, settling for a 69 and a tie for 21st.

''It was a brutal day emotionally,'' Knous said. ''I wasn't quite sure how much my performance would affect the overall outcome. It kind of just depended on what everybody else did. That's pretty terrifying. So I really just kind of did my best to stay calm and inside I was really freaking out and just super psyched that at the end of the day finished right there on No. 25.''

The top-25 finishers on the Web.com regular-season money list competed against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. Sungjae Im topped the list to earn the No. 1 priority spot of the 50 total cards.