By PGATOUR.COM Staff
J.B. Holmes shot 1-under 70 on Friday at the Japan Golf Tour's Dunlop Phoenix to make the cut in his first tournament since The Honda Classic in February.
Holmes opened the Dunlop Phoenix with an 8-over 79, but made the cut on the number after breaking par in the second round. He missed four of five cuts on TOUR in 2013 before fracturing his left ankle March 9 while rollerblading with his wife. When Holmes returns to the PGA TOUR, he will have 19 events to earn $580,299 under his Major Medical Extension.
The two-time TOUR winner had brain surgery in September 2011 to correct structural defects in his cerebellum that had been giving Holmes vertigo-like symptoms. He withdrew from the 2011 PGA Championship and missed the remainder of the season, returning at the Farmers Insurance Open in January 2012. He finished 48th in the FedExCup in 2012.
Holmes is one of several PGA TOUR players in the Dunlop Phoenix field. Defending champion Luke Donald (73-66) is one of four players tied for the halfway lead.
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (73-69), who is in the middle of his first season as a PGA TOUR member, is three shots off the lead, as is Hideki Matsuyama (71-71). They are tied for ninth place.
Keegan Bradley (73-72) is tied for 37th, while Charlie Beljan (75-72) and Billy Horschel (71-76) are tied for 44th.
Tom Watson, the U.S. captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup, missed the cut by two shots with rounds of 76-75. Former PGA TOUR winner Shigeki Maruyama, a captain's assistant at this year's Presidents Cup, shot 75-82 to finish 82nd in the 84-man field.
J.B. Holmes will be sidelined two to three months after fracturing his left ankle in a March 9 roller-blading accident.
Holmes' ankle will be in a cast for another week or so, according to a report www.golfchannel.com. The big-hitting Holmes has played in five events this year with a tie for 50th at Pebble Beach his best finish.
Holmes, a two-time PGA TOUR champion, missed the latter part of the 2011 season after having brain surgery to repair Chiari malformations. He came back in 2012 and posted two top-10s and eight top-25 finishes.
To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here .
2013 PREVIEW: J.B. Holmes had a remarkable comeback story as he earned more than $1 million and played the weekend in 20 of 25 events less than a year after having brain surgery. If he can improve his iron play, where he slipped from 63rd to 114th in GIR, this quiet man from Kentucky should get back into contention on a more regular basis.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: Many would say that "moment" came when Holmes stepped to the first tee at the Farmers Insurance Open less than four months after the surgery to repair a Chiari malformation. He opened with a 76 but followed with a 69 and never looked back, posting a pair of top 10s, including a tie for eighth at the Shell Houston Open where he shot four sub-par rounds. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: I often wonder how conversations among players take place in the locker room. One player describes his tendonitis, another complains about a foot injury. Holmes says, “I had brain surgery last year,” and everyone else stops detailing their injuries. He played in 25 events, made 20 cuts and won more than a million dollars. I’d say that was a good year. John has a very compact yet powerful swing that averages 310 yards per drive. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: It's impossible to diminish the severity of the vertigo he battled in 2011, but he wasted no time in getting back into a groove following a pair of brain surgeries to alleviate the condition. He made 20 cuts but earned just $1.179 million, which represents a five-year low. He's not only on sale in salary games, but he's likely a popular keeper entering 2013. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
SOCIAL MEDIA: Find him on Twitter
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
|Northern Trust Open
Shell Houston Open
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 20
Rounds played: 86
Top-10 finishes: 2
Money List rank: 80th
Driving distance: 6th
Driving accuracy: 173rd
Greens in regulation: 114th
Strokes gained-putting: 104th
Scoring average: 102nd
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
What is your prediction for J.B. Holmes in 2013? Fill out the form below and let us know.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
One of the better stories this season on the PGA TOUR is J.B. Holmes’ return from brain surgery late last year. His on-course results are almost irrelevant, considering those circumstances.
But Holmes is playing very respectably, with two top-10s and the 74th spot in the FedExCup standings. He’s still one of the legendary long bombers on TOUR (fifth this year in driving distance); it’s just a matter of keeping the tee shots on the short grass and making some putts. He’s 161st in driving accuracy and 63rd in Strokes Gained-Putting.
For the latter, he may have found an answer. The Kentuckian put an Odyssey Metal-X No. 1 putter in the bag and finished T15 at last week’s RBC Canadian Open, ranking T16 in putts per green in regulation.
Holmes’ model, mailed to him several weeks ago but put in play for the first time in Ontario, features a custom alignment line on the rear of the putter (the version sold in stores has a top line). Odyssey reps also added some lead to the sole of the putterhead to get its weight in line with Holmes’ previous Odyssey putter, a White Ice No. 1.
WIN STUFF: Fila Golf is having a contest on its Facebook page, click “like” for the chance to win a $500 golf wardrobe. Share the contest with friends for more chances to win. … Whenever a player on the PGA TOUR wins wearing FootJoy products, the company has a contest the following week to win the same products.
BITS: TaylorMade staff player Chez Reavie switched shafts in his RBZ 15-degree fairway wood and 18.5-degree Tour Rescue, putting in Graphite Design G Series shafts to match the same shaft he has in his 9-degree RBZ Tour driver. He finished T37 at the RBC Canadian Open. … Titleist player Ben Kohles, a winner in his pro debut at the Web.com Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational, was the first player in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event to win with Titleist’s new 913 driver. He swings a 9.5-degree 913D3.
WINNER’S BAG: Scott Piercy at the RBC
Driver: Titleist 910D2 (Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board, 7.5 degrees)
Fairway wood: TaylorMade Burner (14.5 degrees)
Hybrid: Adams Idea Super XTD (17 degrees)
Irons: Titleist AP2 (4) and 690MB (5-9)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM4 (49, 53, 57 and 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Check out the top five shots of the week from the RBC Canadian Open and Nationwide Children's Hospitals Invitational with highlights from J.B. Holmes, Kevin Kisner, Ben Kohles, Bo Van Pelt, and Scott Piercy.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Only in the last month has J.B. Holmes started to feel “normal.”
“All my speed came back,” he said. “Not really having as much stiffness in my neck. I knew when I came out early, I'd probably have some problems, but I didn't think it would get better just sitting at home.”
Holmes, who underwent brain surgery last fall, didn’t have any problems on Saturday. He shot a 66 to move within two of the lead with one round to go at The Greenbrier Classic.
It’s the first time Holmes has been in serious contention since undergoing the procedure to relieve pressure caused by Chiari malformations at the base of his brain -- which are structural defects in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance and can cause problems related to headaches, coordination, dizziness and vision.
Holmes had been suffering from vertigo-like symptoms since last May before undergoing the operation Sept. 1 of last year.
”Each week, it’s getting a little better,” said Holmes, who said the toughest part of his recovery was not being able to do things he normally could. -- until now, that is. “I’d come out here one day and feel like I've got it, and the next day it's not there. It's been really hard for me to be consistent.”
He’s been just that this week, though.
Holmes made five birdies and just one bogey Saturday, and this week was the first time all season that he’s put together three straight rounds in the 60s.
Though Holmes has only recently started to feel like himself again, his competitive desire never wavered. He just never had an opportunity to fulfill it, until now.
“You always feel competitive,” he said. “But probably the last five or six weeks is when I really feel like I could hit all the shots and really, if I played well, really come out here and have a really good chance to win.”
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Just because J.B. Holmes is thankful just to be playing golf after undergoing brain surgery last year doesn’t mean he still doesn’t get upset with himself.
“It's still a job and it's still frustrating and you still get upset when you hit some bad shots,” Holmes said.
He didn’t have anything to be frustrated about Thursday.
Holmes closed with three straight birdies to cap a 5-under 65 in the opening round of The Greenbrier Classic, where he’s near the top of the leaderboard.
The Kentucky native, who almost certainly has an inside track to Comeback Player of the Year honors with a handful of top 25s, including a couple of top 10s, barely missed a shot at The Old White TPC.
Holmes hit 16 greens in regulation and closed in 31 with five birdies on the back nine. A couple of those birdies came from long range with Holmes sinking a 29-footer on the 11th hole and a 34-footer on the sixth.
As scary as things got for Holmes last fall when he underwent surgery to relieve pressure caused by Chiari malformations at the base of his brain -- structural defects in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance and can cause problems related to headaches, coordination, dizziness and vision -- being back out here always remained the goal.
Now he’s trying to take it a step further.
“The goal was to get out here and I got out here, and after I hit my first shot, I go okay, now you hit your first shot, now let's get competitive,” Holmes said. “So I just kept doing it in steps like that, and my game's been really good the last few weeks. Hopefully I can put four rounds together this week.”
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
CROMWELL, Conn. -- J.B. Holmes’ story keeps getting better.
So do the results.
A little more than nine months after undergoing brain surgery to relieve the symptoms of Chiari malformations at the base of his brain (structural defects in the part of the brain that controls balance and can cause problems related to headaches, coordination, dizziness and vision), Holmes is in contention at the Travelers Championship following a 62 in the second round.
“I've hit it well every day,” said Holmes, who has his swing coach Matt Killeen on his bag. “I'm just happy to be out here and glad I'm playing here.”
Holmes was 4 under through his first eight holes when play was suspended Friday at TPC River Highlands. When it resumed Saturday morning, Holmes hit a wedge to 3 feet to set up an easy birdie to make the turn in 30.
He kept the momentum going on the back nine with three more birdies in a four-hole stretch.
Holmes missed just three greens in the second round and took only 25 putts. His 62 was two strokes off matching the course record, and he’s 8 under and near the top of the leaderboard through his first two rounds ( click here to replay his round ).
“[The soft conditions] made it where you could really go at the pins,” Holmes said. “I didn't have to worry about it bouncing off to the right, or if you short side yourself it's not quite as difficult to get up-and-down.”
Five times this season, Holmes has finished in the top 25 -- two of those have come in his last two starts with a tie for 19th at the FedEx St. Jude Classic and a tie for 13th at the Memorial tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.
“I hit the ball really well, especially in the last five or six rounds,” said Holmes, whose last victory came at the 2008 FBR Open. “I kind of felt it coming on a little bit. I feel like I'm 100 percent and swinging at it good.”