After a bizarre few hours, the finish to J.B. Holmes' fifth career PGA Tour victory at the Genesis Open was a bit anticlimactic. But that was a welcome feeling for Holmes, who hit the fairway and the green at Riviera Country Club's difficult 18th hole and two-putted his way to a one-shot win over Justin Thomas.
Wind and fatigue played huge factors on Sunday in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and Holmes was able to overcome both, carding a one-under 70. He did get some help from Thomas, whose putter betrayed him in his final round as he carded a four-over 75. Thomas four-putted for double bogey at the 13th, three-putted at the 14th and missed a key six-footer for birdie at the par-5 17th. Holmes struggled down the stretch as well, but a clutch par save from a greenside bunker at the 16th proved to be the decisive shot.
"We wanted to put on a good show for everybody, so me and Justin thought we'd three-putt a couple times from some short distances," said Holmes, who three-putted for par on the 17th with a chance to take a two-shot lead. "It was really tough on the back side, the wind was really blowing hard. It was hard putting, it was the way you want to win, to come down to the end and be able to hit shots and make some key putts. It had to be exciting to watch."
The victory is Holmes' first since the 2015 Houston Open, when he defeated Jordan Spieth and Johnson Wagner in a playoff. It gets him into next week's WGC-Mexico Championship, an event he failed to qualify for a season ago.
Si Woo Kim, who shot a final-round 66, finished in solo third for his second consecutive top-five finish. Marc Leishman and Rory McIlroy tied for fourth.
Up-to-the-minute leader board and other scoring information for the Genesis Open, Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, Calif., Feb. 14-17, 2019