You could forgive J.B. Holmes for thinking the last few years that his PGA Tour-suggested first name was missing a letter — namely, an O.
It’s been a long road back to the winner’s circle for Holmes, but that journey ended on Sunday with a one-stroke victory over a hard-charging Jim Furyk at the Wells Fargo Championship.
With a final round of 1-under 71, Holmes posted a 14-under 274 total good enough for his third PGA Tour win and first not in the state of Arizona.
Since Summer 2011, it seems like everything has gone the wrong for Holmes. First, he endured a pair of brain surgeries for a Chiari malformation that affected his motor skills. Then, when he returned, Holmes had a long-lingering elbow injury that just would not heal. When it finally did, Holmes broke an ankle in a 2013 rollerblading incident. Despite bright spots when healthy enough to compete as he knows how, the last three seasons have basically been a throwaway.
The last month, however, pointed to this moment. In the five starts before the week at Quail Hollow, Holmes had finished outside of the top 18 once and the top 12 twice.
Then again, with the PGA Tour locked in the grips of Any Given Sunday Syndrome, it seems quite literally any player — at least born in the United States, Australia or Korea — could win at any time.
Taking into account what Holmes has faced off the course and the six years he’s waited since his last win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, it’s no surprise the champion was especially glad to get off the schneid.
“This is a big win for me,” Holmes said. “It’s been since 2008 since I’ve won, and since then I had two brain surgeries and broke my ankle and had arm surgery, the list goes on. So it’s a huge win and to get in the top 20 in the FedEx Cup, that’s huge, and just to win in a venue like this with such a good field and the golf course is always so well-manicured, it’s just great. I’m just ecstatic.”