AUGUSTA, Ga---High school varsity athletes come in all shapes and sizes. The ages however, are usually pretty predictable, but not with JB Holmes. He comes to his first Masters as a competitor with an uncommon understanding of intimidating situations. Holmes made the cut on his high school golf team as a third grader.
The 25-year-old Kentucky native has long been in a hurry when it comes to golf. He posted a top 10 finish in his first PGA Tour event in 2006 and, when he won the FBR Open that same year, he became the fastest ever to one million dollars in career earnings. He notched his second career win this season, once again at the FBR Open in Phoenix.
Known for his long drives, Holmes true strength on the course may be that mental toughness that was cultivated as an 8-year-old.
"There were some rough times, obviously with high schoolers playing a third grade," says the spoft-spoken Holmes. "But, you learn not to be intimidated by other people. Everybody was older than me but by the time I was a sixth grader, I was beating most of them anyway. You learn not to worry about who you're playing and just go out and play."
Holmes is fairly easy to identify on the golf course. He's the guy that outdrives everybody else, despite not really having a backswing.
He's also one of the benefciaries of the rule change that once again awards Masters invitations to winners of full-field events. Not surprisingly, he's in favor of the rule.
"It's not a real big field anyways and it's not a whole lot of guys that are gonna win that aren't already in," Haolmes says. "It's good for publicity and it adds a little more effect to a win."