PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — What a miserable Sunday at the British Open for J.B. Holmes. He was in third place after three rounds, having shot a 66, 68 and 69. But he slogged his way to an 87 with one birdie, six bogeys, four double-bogeys and a triple-bogey in the final round.
He dropped 64 spots down the leaderboard to finish tied for 67th — losing about $700,000 in the process.
Holmes is famously deliberate, often frustrating fans and fellow players with his glacial pre-shot routine. Brooks Koepka, paired with him Sunday, cut him some slack.
“He had a rough day,” Koepka said. “But J.B. is a slow player. I know it’s difficult with the wind, but I didn’t think he was that bad today. I thought he was all right.”
That said, Koepka did voice what a lot of people surely think.
“I’m ready to go most of the time,” he said. “That’s what I don’t understand when it’s your turn to hit, your glove is not on, then you start thinking about it, that’s where the problem lies. It’s not that he takes that long. He doesn’t do anything until his turn. That’s the frustrating part. But he’s not the only one that does it out here.”
Photo: Stuart Franklin / Getty Images
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High standards: Koepka shot a final-round 74 to finish in a tie for fourth with England’s Lee Westwood. Most players would be pleased with that, but Koepka’s standards are so high, especially in majors, that fourth place might feel like 40th to him. It didn’t help that he started bogey-bogey-bogey-bogey.
“I warmed up fine,” he said of his preparation on the range. “I probably hit four of the worst shots I’ve hit all week.”
He put a halt to that with an eagle on No. 5, but it wasn’t enough to put him into that rarefied air to which he’s accustomed. After all, he won the PGA Championship this year, and finished second at both the Masters and U.S. Open.
“I don’t see much positive out of it,” he said. “If you don’t play good, you’re not going to win. So it’s very simple. It’s disappointing, yes. I didn’t play the way I wanted to. And I’ve got to live with that.”
Tough mudder: Tony Finau shot an even-par 71 to finish third, and was especially happy about the way he handled the difficult circumstances.
“I would say I probably played tougher conditions but I haven’t played better than I did today in those conditions,” he said.
“I was just happy with the way I hung in there. I knew winning the championship was out of my grasp, but I wanted to post as good of numbers as I could. Then just keep fighting until the end, and I was able to do that.”
So close: Another major, another oh-so-close performance by Tommy Fleetwood, who has yet to win one. The 28-year-old Englishman posted a final-round score of 74 to finish runner-up.
“This week, I turned up and just had a good feeling, carried through,” said Fleetwood, who finished second and fourth, respectively, in the 2017 and ’18 U.S. Opens. “And, yeah, I’m going to look at this, I’m going to learn things. I can write things down on reflection, how I felt last night, this morning, on the golf course, what I could have done better, what I did do great and what I need to repeat next time.
“You can reflect all you want when you finish 30th or 40th, but it’s these kind of results that you look at and you know that you can find more in. Hopefully, I’ll put myself in position again, numerous times, and hopefully, I can make it up.”
Sam Farmer is a Los Angeles Times writer.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/golf/article/J-B-Holmes-drops-64-spots-on-final-day-of-14112651.php.