Thursday, March 05, 2015


Holmes tames Blue Monster with impressive 10-under 62 
  J.B. Holmes acknowledges the crowd after making birdie on the seventh hole during the first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Holmes had eight birdies and an eagle on Thursday.
J.B. Holmes acknowledges the crowd after making birdie on the seventh hole during the first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Holmes had eight birdies and an eagle on Thursday.  ( Getty Images )

DORAL, Florida  – Firing a 62 on the US PGA Tour is nothing new, or even unusual.
There already have been 13 rounds of 62 in the wraparound 2015 season, after 21 such scores were posted in 2014.
But what J.B. Holmes did on Thursday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship was remarkable. He dominated an elite field and the incredibly difficult Trump National Doral to the tune of a 10-under 62, four shots better than anyone else in the field.
“That's always a good measure of a round - how many shots did you beat the rest of the field by,” Jim Furyk said. 
“If you shoot 62 and there's like three 63s and a 64, it's still a hell of a round. But when you separate yourself from the field – and a really strong field – by four, it's a great round of golf. “
In 2014, Doral's Blue Monster had a scoring average of 73.852, with a pair of 66s from Tiger Woods and Jonas Blixt the lowest rounds of the tournament.
So not only was Holmes four shots better than Ryan Moore on Thursday, but he also set a new benchmark on the course that was made longer and more difficult by course designer Gil Hanse before the 2014 event.
“I didn't see 8 under out there," Jimmy Walker said. “To see two guys up there kind of distancing themselves, that can happen, but I just didn't see it. You get a hard golf course, somebody's on, really on, you can't stop somebody when they're on. You just can't.”
Holmes was definitely "on," posting a bogey-free round that included an eagle and eight birdies.
Of the nine holes that Holmes parred, eight were on putts of 2 feet or less. Only a 21-foot bomb on the par-3 ninth stood out as an anomaly.
“A bunch of people have been saying, 'What course was I playing?' " Holmes said. “Had a lot of fun and didn't have too many stressful putts. If I didn't make it, it was in there pretty close, so I didn't have a whole bunch of 4‑ or 5‑footers.”
Moore, who was playing with a tweak to his swing and a new putter, also rattled off eight birdies, but a double bogey at the par-4 18th put a late damper on his round.
“I was obviously giving myself good, reasonable birdie chances,” Moore said. “Controlled my ball really nicely today, probably for about 13, 14 holes. Honestly, 15 or 16 for that matter. Hit a couple bad shots coming in, but I controlled the ball nice, but I was putting great.”
Holmes' 62 is one shot off the Blue Monster record set by Stephen Ames in 2000, but that tournament was not in the WGC rotation and was simply a regular Tour stop (Doral-Ryder Open). The scoring average in 2000 was 70.563; Thursday's average was 73.400.
“A four‑shot lead is great the first day,” Furyk said. “Even J.B. realises it's the first day. We'd all like to be in that position, trust me, but there's a lot of golf to be played."

  • 1. The field average was 73.402
  • 2. Maintaining its ferocious reputation, the par-4 18th was toughest, at a 4.603 field average. Only three birdies were made – by Alexander Levy, Charley Hoffman and Ross Fisher.
  • 3. Phil Mickelson failed to make a birdie in his 2-over 74, a round that included two penalty drops on par 5s, one at the 12th, one at the eighth.
  • 4. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy shot 73 and is now 6 over for five rounds on the redesigned Blue Monster.
  • 5. There were more bogeys, double-bogeys, and “others” (281) than birdies and eagles (245).
  • 6. Brandt Snedeker, Bill Haas, Webb Simpson and Ian Poulter had 74s. Jordan Spieth and Hunter Mahan had 75s. Chris Kirk, Zach Johnson and Jason Day 76s.
  • 7. Patrick Reed raced to 4 under on Day 1 last year, only to play the next 54 holes in level par to hang on.
  • 8. Graeme McDowell was 1 under when he pulled his tee shot left into a bunker at his 18th hole, the par-3 ninth, then blasted his second shot into the water. He made double-bogey to shoot 73.
  • 9. Ian Poulter’s water woes travelled with him from the Honda Classic. He drove it wide right at the par-4 third and got wet, though he recovered for a bogey.
  • 10. At one point on his outward nine, Hideki Matsuyama made five consecutive bogeys. He wound up shooting 76.

+Scotland's Stephen Gallacher had a nightmare round of 84 - 22 shots more than J B Holmes.


par 72
1 J.B. Holmes 62

2 Ryan Moore 66

T3 Alexander Levy 68

T3 Dustin Johnson 68

T3 Rickie Fowler 68

T6 Brooks Koepka 69

T6 Henrik Stenson 69

T8 Gary Woodland 70

T8 Charley Hoffman 70

T8 Jamie Donaldson 70

T8 Jim Furyk 70

T8 Adam Scott 70

T13 Patrick Reed 71

T13 Jimmy Walker 71

T13 Bubba Watson 71

T13 Ryan Palmer 71

T13 Shane Lowry 71

T13 Martin Kaymer 71

T13 Louis Oosthuizen 71

T13 Charl Schwartzel 71

T13 Lee Westwood 71

T22 Brendon Todd 72

T22 Luke Donald 72

T22 Victor Dubuisson 72

T22 Billy Horschel 72

T22 Robert Streb 72

T27 Graeme McDowell 73

T27 Rory McIlroy 73

T27 Sergio Garcia 73

T27 Alexander Noren 73

T27 Justin Rose 73

T27 John Senden 73

T27 Danny Willett 73

T27 Matt Kuchar 73

T27 Cameron Tringale 73

T27 Marc Warren 73

T27 Keegan Bradley 73

T27 Morgan Hoffmann 73

T39 Russell Henley 74

T39 Phil Mickelson 74

T39 Koumei Oda 74

T39 Kevin Na 74

T39 Danie Van Tonder 74

T39 Bill Haas 74

T39 Geoff Ogilvy 74

T39 Brandt Snedeker 74

T39 Bernd Wiesberger 74

T39 Webb Simpson 74

T39 Ian Poulter 74

T39 David Lipsky 74

T51 Paul Casey 75

T51 Branden Grace 75

T51 Hunter Mahan 75

T51 Gary Stal 75

T51 Jordan Spieth 75

T51 Steven Jeffress 75

T51 Sang-Moon Bae 75

T51 Hiroyuki Fujita 75

T59 Hideki Matsuyama 76

T59 Zach Johnson 76

T59 Chris Kirk 76

T59 Jason Day 76

T63 Tommy Fleetwood 77

T63 Greg Chalmers 77

T65 Ross Fisher 78

T65 Mikko Ilonen 78

T65 Marcel Siem 78

T65 Thomas Aiken 78

T69 Joost Luiten 79

T69 Jason Dufner 79

T71 Thongchai Jaidee 80

T71 Anirban Lahiri 80

73 Stephen Gallacher 84

WD Thomas Bjorn WD

Marcel Siem

Anirban Lahiri*

Thomas Aiken*

Joost Luiten

Jason Dufner*

Thongchai Jaidee

Stephen Gallacher



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