Justin Thomas.

Justin Thomas reacts to JB Holmes' pace-of-play incident at the Farmers Insurance Open

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Slow play has been an issue in golf for many years, and there was some more controversy last week on the PGA Tour at the Farmers Insurance Open.

JB Holmes needed an eagle going up the last on Sunday to make the playoff, and he set himself up perfectly after splitting the fairway with his drive.

However, many viewers became infuriated with Holmes for his actions prior to hitting his approach to the green.

The American was split whether to carry the water and go for the green or lay up, and the gusting winds also delayed Holmes in hitting his shot. In the end, it took him just over four minutes to make the decision.

He eventually decided to lay up, where he got up and down to make birdie - but left him one shot off the lead.


But fans were particularly annoyed as many believed it had disrupted his playing partner, Alex Noren.

The Swede needed a birdie to win the tournament, but had to wait a considerable amount of time for Holmes to hit his shot.

When he got round to it, Noren smashed his approach over the green and could not get up and down, meaning he had to settle for a par. He would later lose after six extra holes to Jason Day.


Holmes' actions caused great debate on Twitter, and the American was forced to defend himself after the tournament.

"I didn’t realize how long it was taking," he said to the Golf Channel. "We (Holmes and caddie Brendan Parsons) were just trying to make the best decision to play.

Farmers Insurance Open - Final Round

"If it bothered Alex (Noren), he could have said something and he could have hit. If I messed him up, I apologize. He still made a good swing. He smoked it.

"I don’t understand what the big hoopla is all about. I was just trying to give myself the best chance to win the tournament. I didn’t want to mess anybody up."


Many have condemned Holmes' actions, but world number four Justin Thomas has leapt to the defence of his fellow pro.

"I have J.B.’s back all day on that situation," said Thomas. "It bothered me, and I hate it [bothering] 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."


But the majority of fans did not agree with Thomas' views, with many branding Holmes' actions as unacceptable and bad for the game of golf.

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