J.B. Holmes had big plans for his PGA Tour offseason, namely avoiding golf and vegging in front of the TV.
Then Jim Furyk got a wrist contusion and announced late last week that he couldn't play in the Presidents Cup, leading U.S. captain Jay Haas to pick Holmes, who finished 12th in the points standings, with his impromptu third wild-card pick.
“It was a long year and I was just going to take a few weeks off,” Holmes said Monday. “I was going to sit at home and play video games and not play golf.”
Haas made Holmes aware he should be on standby for Furyk on Tuesday, giving the Kentucky-born player the tap on the shoulder on Friday.
“He kept me updated with texts and I finally got the call on Friday morning saying he couldn’t go,” Holmes said. “I felt bad for Jim, I know how much he loves these events, but I was grateful for the opportunity as well.”
Holmes came up just short on points despite winning the Shell Houston Open ahead of the Masters and posting a pair of runner-ups. Haas' son, Bill, finished 11th in points and was given one of two initial wild-card picks. Phil Mickelson got the other.
Though Furyk won't compete, he did make the trip with his wife Tabitha and the team to serve as an assistant captain this week.
Adam Scott was eliminated from the PGA Tour playoffs after The Barclays, giving him a five-week vacation as the FedEx Cup was decided.
So, Scott took the free time to ditch the broomstick putter he has used since 2011 and get comfortable with a traditional-length putter, which he is using this week at the Presidents Cup.
Ranked 158th this past season in strokes gained putting, Scott made the switch from the long putter and the anchored putting stroke he used with it, which will become illegal on Jan. 1, 2016.
“It was a good time to make the change and I spent some time working on it, a similar amount of time actually when I went to the long putter,” said Scott at this week's Presidents Cup in South Korea, according to Golf Channel. “It’s kind of refreshing to make a forced change because my putting stats are certainly unimpressive this year.”
Scott first tried making the switch to a traditional-length putter at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March. After seeing some positive results in the first week at Doral, Scott struggled in subsequent starts, leading him back to the long putter in the majors. As soon as August, Scott said he intended to stick with the long putter, even after the anchoring ban took hold. With a new perspective on the matter, Scott -- who called the change "forced" -- figures there's no better time to make the switch.
“There has to be a week where I start and it may as well be here," Scott said, "and I’m very confident I can make myself one of the best putters on Tour.”
Sometimes, all it takes is an apology.
The PGA Tour was planning to fine Rory McIlroy $25,000 for throwing his 3-iron into a water hazard in frustration during the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March. However, then McIlroy said he was sorry for losing his cool in a post-round TV interview.
"The fine was reduced from $25,000 to $5,000 because I said I was sorry in the TV interview afterwards," said McIlroy, according to ESPN UK.
After McIlroy's club found the bottom of the hazard of the par-5 eighth on the TPC Blue Monster at Trump Doral, The Donald hired a SCUBA diver to fetch the club from the murky depths. The next day, Trump presented McIlroy with the club in a PR stunt.
That may have been a low point on the season for McIlroy, who went on to win twice in May, including the WGC-Cadillac Match Play and the Wells Fargo Championship. However, McIlroy "lost" his season when he injured his ankle playing soccer with buddies on July 4, leading him to miss the British Open and becoming the first Open champion who did not defend the Claret Jug since Ben Hogan in 1954.