During a pre-tournament press conference at TPC Scottsdale, in advance of the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open, Justin Thomas “applauded” J.B. Holmes for taking over 4 minutes to lay up on the 18th and final hole of the Farmers Insurance Open.
To provide transparency, here’s the question, and full answer.
What did you think about the Sunday with JB and 18 and what were your thoughts on that?
THOMAS: “I have JB’s back all day on that situation. I think the — it bothered me and I hate it for him.
I went up to him yesterday and told him, it was a great week, first off, it was a great tournament for him, but I have a hard time saying I wouldn’t do anything differently than he did. If you put me in 18 fairway and I need an eagle to win the golf tournament or to have a chance to win the golf tournament, I mean I knew the exact position he was in and I would do the same thing.
If I have a 5-wood in my hands — and he hits it pretty similar trajectory to me — that thing’s going to go high. And into the wind, he’s into about a 10, 15 mile an hour wind, that wind gusts at all, like it was, when he was waiting for the gusts to go down, that ball’s in the water. 3-wood, as long as he hits it, has no chance.
You saw where Noren hit it and JB’s probably longer than Noren, so and then he’s got no chance.
So he’s debating what to do, what to not do.
I get it, four minutes, 10 seconds is a long time, but nobody behind him, last hole, you need a three to win the golf tournament, you need to take as long as you can. I mean obviously there’s a point you’re not going to sit there 10 minutes but it’s like, look, if I’m going to wait for the right wind, I’m going to wait for the right wind, I need to make a 3 here.
And then people saying, I can’t believe he waited that long and laid it up in the rough. It’s like, do you think he was trying to lay it up in the rough? I mean I think the bigger deal — and JB obviously, he’s gotten a lot better and he’s trying to get a lot better with his pace of play — but it’s just the fact of the previous 17 holes.
Obviously it took awhile, but that’s another thing. You get 25 mile an hour winds, you get tough pins, you get firm greens, time par goes out the window. And that’s something that we have really tried to talk about a lot on the TOUR and everything like that.
It was a bummer, I hate it for him, how much he’s getting bashed and ridiculed. He obviously wasn’t — there was zero intention to ice Alex, that’s not what this sport’s about, that’s not what he’s about.
But when you’re trying to win a golf tournament, this sport is very much about committing and being a hundred percent being all in on what you’re doing. I honestly applaud him for waiting and making the decision until he was ready, because he was just trying to win the tournament.”
Credits: ASAP Sports, Getty Images