J.B. Holmes talks a shot over with caddy Brandon Parsons.

Pace-of-play regularly becomes a discussion in golf, but the examples of slow play are rarely as obvious as what J.B. Holmes did on the final regulation hole of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Sunday, earning criticism from both other golfers and commentators.

Needing an eagle on 18 to get into the playoff against Jason Day (who had already finished) and possibly Alex Noren (who was waiting to play), the notoriously slow Holmes stood there over his shot for almost four minutes, changing clubs and possibly hoping the wind would die down.

CBS commentators Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo roasted him, even referencing the network’s need to get to Grammy Red Carpet Live (which they eventually threw to before the playoff, 38 minutes behind schedule). Here’s the clip:

That starts with Holmes’ caddie (Brandon Parsons) saying to him “You just got to wait, you gotta be patient” and Nantz chiming in “We’re being patient, don’t worry about that.” Faldo then says “Wait and be patient? They’re holding everybody up on the red carpet. I can’t believe it.” Nantz says “No kidding. All those stars, circling around the block in their limos,” and Faldo chips in “Just do another lap, please, Jay-Z, Beyonce?”

On-course reporter Dottie Pepper then asks “At some point, Nick, don’t you have to just make a decision and go with it?” and Faldo responds “You’ve got to see the shot, but technically, you’re not meant to be doing this. Oh.” (Technically Faldo is right, there’s a rarely-enforced 45-second rule.) Pepper says “The crowd is really starting to get on him,” and some of that can be heard in the background. Faldo then says “He really needs an eagle, it makes sense to be at worst over the green then,” Nantz says “At some point, you’ve got to hit the shot,” and Faldo says “You’ve got to get in there.”

Nantz then mentions “This group is on pace for somewhere right around six hours,” and Faldo says “Really? Wow.” Pepper says “The fans up around the green are really getting agitated,” and Nantz says “And there is a huge throng here, certainly this area, right around the 18th. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything quite like this.”

Faldo responds “I’m amazed, to be honest. This is the shot clock and all that sort of thing. And Alex [Noren, as the feed cuts to shots of him taking practice swings while waiting] has made his mind up, he’s just trying to stare it down, paint one picture and stick with that picture. So [as it goes back to Holmes, addressing the ball with an iron], he didn’t think he could get there, three wood probably too much, five wood not enough, so he’ll just knock it down and try and hope for third.”

As Holmes finally hits the shot, which isn’t great and lands in the rough, Pepper says “That ball needs to get down too. After all that…” and Nantz replies, “Yes, after all that.”

That’s a pretty rare and thorough roasting of a player from the broadcasters, and they weren’t the only ones upset with Holmes. By the way, he finished with a birdie and missed the playoff. Noren made it despite all that, taking only 26 seconds to hit his own shot on 18 after the Holmes drama. (He’d eventually fall to Day on the sixth playoff hole Monday. Ryan Palmer originally made the playoff too, but was eliminated after one hole.)

After five holes Sunday, the playoff was continued until Monday in front of empty crowds because of darkness, so slow play may have had an effect on when the tournament finished.

A few pros chimed in about Holmes’ play on 18 and wondered why Tour officials didn’t penalize him:

And a whole lot of golf media and fans went after Holmes too, not just for the four-minute shot but also for his entire day of play:

Lavner asked Holmes about the delay afterwards, and Holmes wasn’t exactly repentant:

(Trying to win by laying up despite trailing the clubhouse leader by 2 shots?)

But this definitely brought Holmes a whole lot of criticism. And it might give the pace-of-play conversation a boost.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

2 thoughts on “J.B. Holmes’ four-minute shot on final hole at Torrey Pines blasted by golf commentators, fellow pros

  1. I almost gagged trying to watch that inane display. Here’s another reason the PGA Tour needs to enforce the rule. 45 seconds? For the 2nd or 3rd player to hit (after the first guy in the rough takes forever to chunk out a wedge that any normal golfer could hit out in about 10 seconds) should be about 30 seconds. JB was standing in the fairway right by his ball for all that time that Palmer was perplexed for minutes over his lame punch out shot. Why are the golfers not ready when they are in the “pause” waiting. They’re in the damn fairway, with NO doubt what the yardage is, Have the stupid club chosen and be ready to hit. It drives me nuts. What are they doing? Playing for TV camera time? After all that crap from Palmer, JB and his bag carrying idiot are going to the yardage book??? Look Jerk, it’s the same as it was three minutes ago. Noren hit his in 26 seconds. That’s the idea!

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