CROMWELL, CT – After 10 holes on Saturday it seemed like J.B. Holmes’ third round of the Travelers was going nowhere fast, as the 36-year old Kentucky native was dead-even 39 on the day and sitting at 6-under par for the tournament.
But Holmes incredibly gained five strokes over a five-hole stretch, carding birdie-birdie-par-eagle-birdie on hole Nos. 11-15 at TPC River Highlands to rocket up leaderboard to T3 at 11-under par, just five shots off the lead of Paul Casey.
“I was hitting greens but really wasn’t getting anything close to the hole on the front. I made a birdie on 11, that kind of got me going,” said Holmes.
“The hole out obviously helped. So I birdied the easier holes when you need to birdie the par-5 and the drivable 14. Like I said, that 2 helped.”
“That 2” was of the hole-out flavor on the par-4 14th hole.
From 143 yards, Holmes’ used a “little wedge down the hill,” according to CBS’s Peter Kostis. His Titleist took two big bounces, hit the lip, and disappeared “down the hole.”
Holmes explained it this way: “I hit it on the right side of the fairway, wanted to. There is that tree just short of the green that you have to worry about. Had a good number for a wedge, and I was trying to hit a little draw in there.
“I pulled it just a little, but it was right at the flag. If it doesn’t hit the tree, it’s going to be pretty good. You know, bounced up there and hopped in the hole, so it was nice.”