What they said: J.B. Holmes

June 08, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: FedEx St. Jude Classic transcript archive DOUG MILNE: J.B. Holmes, thanks for joining us for a few minutes, a very successful 6-under 64 in round two of the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Obviously a lot of golf left to go today, but for the time being, you're at the top of the leaderboard. You got to be feeling good after two rounds as you're heading into the weekend.

J.B. HOLMES: Yeah. Played well yesterday and just didn't make any putts. Played really well today, hit my irons great and made a few putts on the front side and it was a good round for me.

DOUG MILNE: Obviously big talk about you is the inspiration from your story, everything you've been through and your amazing comeback in the middle of a great year. You've had a couple of Top-10 finishes and coming off the top-15 finish last week in Muirfield. Is that still the topic, is everything -- the surgery and everything, you've been through?

J.B. HOLMES: Yeah, it still seems like that a little bit. Certainly it kind of comes up, kind of died down a little bit at the beginning of the year when I wasn't playing as well, but it's definitely, you know, when I end up on the leaderboard, something that comes up.

DOUG MILNE: With that, we'll take some questions.

Q. Right to the surgery, then. You get weary of it, you're not defined by that surgery, and yet it's clearly something that is a big part of your story. And when you think about it, is it more of -- were you worried about not playing golf again, or were you worried about just --

J.B. HOLMES: No. I kind of looked at it as, when I found out, we just had to find out what the symptoms were. I knew being dizzy, having headaches and everything that I couldn't keep my card, I couldn't play out here anymore, so I had to get something done.

So it was almost a relief to find out that the surgery was something that could help the symptoms and everything, so -- and then as that, I just looked at it as I had a couple knee surgeries before and I just kind of the looked at it like that. I had to go in and have the surgery, rehab, and I should be back playing golf in January.

So that's the only place I ever went with it. I never really let it go more than just a second thinking I might never come back. I always say well, I'll be back in January and I'll be a hundred percent and I won't have these symptoms. That's really the only way I looked at it.

Q. When you were air-lifted, was that a particularly terrifying moment? What was the story behind it?

J.B. HOLMES: I was so drugged up on that one, I don't even remember that part that much. The day before, I had not felt as well and I had some fluid back there around my scar and I called the doctors and they said, we'll take care of it. The next day I didn't feel so good. I ended up being sick that night. And I was taken to the hospital, and then they put me on some painkillers and I woke up in Baltimore Sunday night. I went in Saturday night and woke up -- barely remember getting in an ambulance, barely remember being put on a plane. It was more scary for my family probably than me.

But, yeah, there for awhile, little bit scary just being allergic to the glue, but I felt -- I never felt like I was going to die or anything was going terribly wrong. I felt like I was in good hands and being taken care of as well as I could. I was just saying some prayers and just hoping for the best.

Q. J.B., can you talk about the first tournament back after that? You played in late January. Just was that a different experience?

J.B. HOLMES: You know, the first tee shot was really, you know, I hit that and maybe got a little bit of tears and I said, all right, I made it back. That's a good thing. Then my mind went, okay, let's play well.

I didn't dwell on it much, didn't think about it as much as I hit the first tee shot, and said I'm back. And then you just kind of got right back into the mode of now that you're back, you need to go out there and play well.

So, slow start a little bit, but I had a good finish. I wasn't a hundred percent when I started, but I knew I had to get out there and start playing. That's about it. Started off real slow, missed a few putts, but I got to where I feel close to a hundred percent. The muscles are stiff. That's really it.

Q. I'm sure people ask you about perspective all the time. I get that it probably does put it a little bit in perspective. In the end, you still have to go out there and win golf tournaments. It doesn't mean that golf matters less. Still you're a professional golfer and having a day like today I presume is why you play.

J.B. HOLMES: Yeah. I mean, that's -- you put it in perspective of maybe try not to take it as serious. It's serious. It's my job and I want to play well and I want to win.

You know, it's something I'm still going to get frustrated and I'm still going to be mad at times. Still get upset when it's really just a game, and I understand that, but still it's important to me to play well and -- but at the end of the day, when you get down, you really sit back and realize it's not that important and you can always -- there's a tournament every week. You can play somewhere almost every week.

DOUG MILNE: All right.

Q. Getting back to that run you had on the front nine this morning, just what kind of high do you get out of that when you had three in a row there to finish the 9? Just what kind of mindset did you have as you're going through that?

J.B. HOLMES: You know, golf is a funny game where you're not hitting it well and you feel you're never going to hit it good. When you're on like that, it feels easy.

It's definitely not easy. You realize that real fast, but, you know, I just kind of got into where I was looking at my target and hitting the ball and kind of going right where I was looking, making good putts.

So I just kind of hit everything -- I wasn't knocking pins down, but I hit them in there pretty close. Made a couple 6-footers, but I putted well. I was hitting it 15, 20 feet and making some putts.

Q. Just a follow-up on that, anything in particular that was working on the putts? Because you had a couple early ones that were some nice long ones.

J.B. HOLMES: You know, on 2 I made probably a 15-footer on 2. Pretty much a straight putt. Real easy. On 3, the par-5, I hit in it bunker and didn't hit a very good bunker shots. One of those putts. On the fringe, broke 6 feet and I just made it. Just one of those things.

Next hole I hit it 15 feet, you know, hill putt. Missed it. Next hole, 10 feet, had a good putt. Missed it.

The next hole, hit it -- I was in the trees and hit a good shot to probably 22, 23 feet. I made that, which obviously the 2 putt's easier, and I made the one kind of downhill.

Then the next hole, it was 7, I hit it right below the hole, just a straight putt pretty much, and then I hit it to 6 feet on 8 and 9.

Lot of the putts that I made, I just hit the ball in the right spot on the green where there wasn't a whole lot of break. I was keeping it below the hole, and they were a ball outside or fairly straight putts, so it was not the side hill breakers.

Q. On 12, did you feel a little bit like you got away with one there, was it 12??

J.B. HOLMES: Yeah. Hit one way left there. Like I said, made two big swings today and got away with that one. I didn't get away with the other one. I hit a great recovery shot there, but made a poor swing there and was happy to get away with par there.

DOUG MILNE: Okay. J.B. great playing. Keep it up. Thanks for your time.