Holmes' 60 ties Snead's Old White record
The Campbellsville, Ky., native made another progression in his PGA Tour career Saturday, firing his first round of 60 in a tournament, tying Sam Snead's record at the Old White Course in the inaugural four-day Greenbrier Classic.
Holmes' 10-under-par effort in the third round, which is thus far the lowest round in the event, vaulted him into second place at 12-under 198, moving him up 67 spots from Friday. He was 69th after hitting the cut on the number at 2-under 138 after Friday's second round. Holmes had consecutive rounds of 69 in the first two rounds of the tournament.
Holmes had 11 birdies and one bogey Saturday, needing just 25 putts on the par-70, 7,031-yard Old White Course. He could have gone even lower but missed a birdie chance from nearly 4 feet on No. 11 and an eagle putt on No. 17.
Holmes' 60 is the fourth score of 60 or better on the Tour in the last four weeks. Three weeks ago in the John Deere Classic, Paul Goydos shot a rare 59, becoming just the fourth player to do so in the PGA Tour's history.
"Not too many people in the world ever shoot 60,'' said Holmes, who has two victories in his five years on Tour. "There's just been a lot of great play lately. If I had shot a 60 maybe this time last year, it'd probably get a little more attention than it's probably gonna get.''
It could be said Holmes was destined for this moment.
He played on the Taylor County (Ky.) High School golf team as a third-grader, and by the time he was in the fifth grade he was playing in the No. 1 or No. 2 position. In Kentucky, athletes are allowed to play at the varsity level if their talents are good enough. Then Holmes won the Kentucky high school title as a sophomore.
"It was a good experience,'' said the former All-American at Kentucky. "It really took the fear out of you. It didn't matter if you were playing seniors or whoever. I guess it helped me in that sense.
"There are a lot of good, young players that don't make it. I started out young, played good and was lucky enough to keep progressing and getting better at each level. I just got lucky and the Lord blessed me with the talent. I loved the game and I worked at it.''
But Holmes never felt he was guaranteed anything.
"I always wanted to play on the PGA Tour,'' he said. "In high school you don't know if you're good enough. Then I win the state championship and maybe I can go play in college.
"I go to college and I'm an All-American and maybe I have a chance at the next level. I just kind of took it in steps. It was always a dream to get there, but I realized I could do it the further along I got.''
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Holmes has three top-10 finishes this year. He tied for second at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, tied for third at the Northern Trust Open and was fifth at AT&T National. Holmes is 19th in the FedExCup standings, 19th on the PGA Tour money list and 53rd in the World Golf Rankings.
Last week in the Canadian Open, Carl Petterssen made the cut on the button then shot a 60 and went on to win the tournament. Could Holmes be next?
"You know, it's possible, so we'll see where that ends up at the end of the day,'' he said. "Maybe I get hot two days in a row and shoot 60, 60. I put myself in position, and that's really all you can ask for.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.