LOS ANGELES — A balmy, snug week in Southern California it was not. Sadly an enormous a part of Genesis Open (Los Angeles Open going again to the 1920s) historical past has seen climate turn out to be an enormous a part of the story. By some means the match concluded Sunday.
Nothing will get the blood boiling greater than watching J.B. Holmes labor over each shot in a spherical of golf. The rationale it’s not mentioned extra is as a result of Holmes is just not often on TV, the place the pre-shot routine turns into a supply of astonishment as these not accustomed to seeing him are handled to some painfully prolonged durations earlier than membership strikes ball.
All credit score to Holmes, who received for the primary time since 2015 when he overtook Justin Thomas within the last spherical. Holmes certified for this week’s WGC-Mexico Championship within the course of (though he mentioned he would skip the match).
The social media vitriol was notably harsh, however for good cause. Holmes has developed a tortoise status through the years — and seemingly would not care. You would possibly bear in mind final 12 months’s Farmers Insurance coverage Open, the place on the ultimate gap he took 4 minutes to resolve what to do when he wanted an eagle to tie — and ended up laying up.
Sunday’s antics had been due partly to a really troublesome day. Plus, when gamers are in rivalry, some further time shall be spent. However his group was by no means even placed on the clock, regardless of a number of situations of Holmes taking greater than a minute to play a shot. When Holmes, Thomas and Adam Scott had been on the 10th inexperienced, the group in entrance of them was practically to the 11th inexperienced — a par-5.
“My factor on sluggish play is it is by no means going to vary,” mentioned Scott, who earlier this week pleaded for the PGA Tour to make an instance of himself and name a slow-play penalty simply to ship a message. “Simply recover from it. Till tv and sponsors say, ‘No extra money,’ sluggish play ain’t gonna change.”
The three-time main champion has been making some regular progress together with his placing and lengthy recreation of late however has been unable to place 4 good rounds collectively. Sunday was clearly a setback. Beginning the ultimate spherical, Spieth was in a tie for fourth. Whereas he was eight strokes again, he was nonetheless in line for a powerful end.
However Spieth’s final-round 81 included a double-bogey, a triple-bogey and a quadruple-bogey. The quad got here on the par-Four 10th, the place he wanted 5 bunker photographs. He shot nines of 41-40, chipping in for a par on the final gap. It was the third rating of 80 or larger in his skilled profession on the PGA Tour and left him in a tie for 52nd.
Spieth didn’t communicate afterward however did say Saturday that two straight weeks of awful climate and lengthy days weren’t one of the best ways to snap out of his enjoying points.
“Ideally for me proper now, the extra full type of free flowing full excessive ball swings, one thing like subsequent week [in Mexico] is definitely higher for me,” he mentioned. “And the sawed-off photographs you should hit are simply way more troublesome as a result of my timing’s a bit off, in order that makes it definitely a problem.”
J.T. lets one slip
The circumstances had been brutal, the times lengthy, however Justin Thomas is the primary one to confess he mustn’t have let this one get away. He had a four-shot lead by way of 54 holes and regarded unbeatable. Rounds of 66-65-65 put him out entrance and there was nothing to counsel he would falter. However he did with a final-round 75 that included two Three-putts and a Four-putt.
“It is at all times a bummer at hand [Holmes] a match,” Thomas mentioned. “I really feel like I ought to have received that factor. Hit some nice photographs the final 4 holes. However it’s what it’s and I’ve received to discover a option to be taught from it.”
Thomas admitted he putted poorly at occasions within the wind.
“I’ve wanted to get higher at that and it sadly simply type of confirmed a flaw in my thoughts,” he mentioned.
Few are too apprehensive about Thomas, who would have moved from fourth to second on the earth with a victory. His final win got here on the WGC-Bridgestone in August. Now he is headed to the WGC-Mexico Championship, the place he misplaced in a playoff to Phil Mickelson final 12 months.
As soon as March rolls round, the oldsters in Southern California will hardly see a drop of rain the remainder of the 12 months. However when the PGA Tour is on the West Coast, look out. It was unhealthy final week at Pebble Seaside. And it was unhealthy once more this week at Riviera.
Not solely had been gamers greeted to morning temperatures within the 40s, however a seven-hour delay Thursday meant marathon days on Friday, Saturday, Sunday. It was considerably outstanding that 72 holes had been accomplished earlier than darkness Sunday.
Gamers had been on the course Sunday morning at 6:45 a.m. native time and the final teams needed to play 34 holes. Undoubtedly they’re all wanting ahead to some hotter climate.
What about Tiger?
Tiger Woods displays on his efficiency on the Genesis Open, calling it one in every of his worst performances ever.
The sort of match was not a superb one for a man with a nasty again. Woods performed 30 holes Friday, had a protracted day on the course to play 14 holes Saturday, after which 28 extra Sunday. He regarded exhausted afterward, and was not transferring alongside very nicely. However he nonetheless tied for 15th regardless of enjoying his final 11 holes in Four over par. General, it ought to be considered as a superb end result.
Riviera has seemingly at all times given Woods matches. On Saturday morning he appeared headed to a second consecutive missed minimize right here. However he ended up making it by a shot, received scorching over the following 18 holes by taking pictures 65, moved into the highest 5 with three birdies over his first 9 of the ultimate spherical, then faltered.
Woods once more lamented his placing, and that’s more likely to be an ongoing challenge at age 43. Getting scorching with the putter will stay a problem. However there’s loads to love about his ball-striking up to now.
Via eight rounds this 12 months at Torrey Pines and Riviera, Woods’ worst rating was the 72 he shot within the last spherical right here. Though he has had solely two scores within the 60s, he has navigated some powerful programs and difficult circumstances fairly nicely.
Now we’ll see how the heat of Mexico Metropolis — in addition to excessive altitude — treats him.