J.B. Holmes strode to the first tee for Sunday's final round of THE PLAYERS Championship as the oddsmakers favorite, holding a one-stroke lead with Kyle Stanley.
The wheels immediately fell off for the long-hitting 35-year-old with a bogey on the opening hole, and after hacking it around TPC Sawgrass in an astonishing 84 shots, Holmes lost 40 spots on the leaderboard, finishing in a tie for 41st.
If three bogeys in his first five holes dented any chances of winning, a double-bogey on the seventh extinguished those for good, and it was immediately evident that the opening struggles had sucked all of Holmes' mental focus from his game.
A 40 on the front nine would only be made worse with a 44 on the back, including two water balls on the par-3 17th that led to a quintuple-bogey 8. He finished with a double-bogey on the 18th to post a round of 12-over-par, equaling Scott Piercy for worst in the tournament.
Holmes' round wasn't just the poorest in the tournament, as it ranked second worst in the past five seasons by a 54-hole leader on the PGA Tour.
His playing partner Stanley beat Holmes by nine strokes but suffered through the closing 18 as well, losing his spot atop the leaderboard to finish tied for fourth after a 75.
Holmes and Stanley played the difficult layout in a glacial 4:35, presenting the awkward situation for NBC where the winner was done almost 30 minutes before the final group finished their round.
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