J.B. Holmes twirled a 2-under-par 33-36=69 in the final round of The 145th Open Championship to wrap his eighth appearance on 6-under 278, up two places to solo third, a distant 14 strokes behind Champion Golfer of the Year Henrik Stenson.
The 34-year-old had cashed in two prior Opens, and easily supplants his previous best of T14 in 2010 (St. Andrews). It's also a career best in a major, eclipsing T4 at this year's Masters, and just his second top 10 in his 25th overall major appearance. Incredibly, the Kentucky native finished 11 shots back of runner-up Phil Mickelson, the largest-ever separation between second and third-place in major history. He joins the top-2 finishers as the only players who posted four sub-par rounds (70-70-69-69). Holmes began the finale in solo fifth on 4-under, eight back of Stenson. Playing out of the third-to-last twosome, he had just one blemish, a double bogey-6 at the 15th, but outpaced it with birdies on Nos. 4, 6, 7 and a bounce-back on 16. Holmes took advantage of playing partner Stricker's double bogey-5 on the 71st hole to slip by him on the leaderboard. It's his fifth top 10 of the season (15 starts).
Sun, Jul 17, 2016 02:23:00 PM