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Holmes’ 65 could help make Ryder Cup statement

Kentuckian J.B. Holmes shot a 7-under par 65 Friday in the BMW Championship and now stands at 10-under and in fourth place going into today’s third round.

Here’s what he had to say after the round that included a bogey on his final hole — a par-five.
Q. Another bogey at the last, leaves a salty taste in your mouth at the end of the day, but at the end of the day, a great round of 65 put you in a great spot.
JB HOLMES: Absolutely. I played great all day. I didn’t finish like I wanted to, but I putted well, hit the ball really well, so a lot of positives things to take from today.

Q. How do you attack this golf course? Obviously the four par-5s are gettable, especially if you can get any run out there. What’s your strategy to attack at Crooked Stick?
JB HOLMES: You know it’s going to be a low score since the greens are softened up, so you got to shoot at a lot of flags. And there’s a few holes where you got to play it safe and go for your par. Other than that, you are firing at a lot of pins.

Q. When the rain hit yesterday are you sitting there going, oh, this is probably a pretty good thing for me or does it really matter?
JB HOLMES: Yeah, I was thinking it was a great thing for me. Because they had gotten the golf course so firm it was almost unplayable. I think they were forecasting some rain. But I played the pro-am on Wednesday and you could barely keep the ball on the green, didn’t matter where you were. So it was very difficult. So, maybe it would have been nice not to get quite as much, because it made it really soft, but I think it’s better than it was. There was going to be some high scores if we didn’t get some rain.

Q. I see your position on the FedExCup standings coming into this week, a good performance could get you to East Lake next week. How do you approach the weekend?
JB HOLMES: Just the same. There’s a lot of golf left, it’s just one shot at a time. You can go out there and shoot a number, so I’m in a good spot for the weekend and hopefully I continue to play well.

Q. Solid second round. How did you play today?
JB HOLMES: It was just a solid round all the way through. Putted well, hit driver well, hit some in there close. So it was just a really good day for me.

Q. Saw you rolling that putt, you get to 8-under through 11, you hear the crowd cheering, what’s going through your mind at that point?
JB HOLMES: Just keep it going. I was hitting it well and the putter was hot, so why not just keep it rolling. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep it quite going like I wanted to, but I still had a great round.

Q. When conditions are like this you see a lot of low numbers out there, does that force you to start firing at pins and try and take advantage of the course?
JB HOLMES: Oh, yeah, absolutely. You know you got to shoot a decent score around here with it being soft like it is. So, you definitely got to hit at some flags and that’s just how it is out here.

Q. Looked like you were going to set the record for birdies in a round. What was going on out there?
JB HOLMES: It was just a great day for me. I felt good with the putter, I felt good with the wedges, I was hitting my driver good, so usually when those things come together I can make a few birdies.

Q. Making a run towards Atlanta is this obviously what you want to do for multiple reasons? Obviously, get your name out there for the Ryder Cup and also continue your FedExCup push?
JB HOLMES: Yeah, obviously you want to be there. That’s the plan at the beginning of the year, so, yeah.

Q. Has the Ryder Cup been on your mind at all?
JB HOLMES: It was in the prior weeks. I think that I was focusing on it too much, because the last few weeks I’ve been able to kind of refocus on what I usually focus on and I’ve let it go. Obviously, it’s in the back of my mind, I definitely really want to make the team, but it’s out of my hands now, so all I can do is just go out and play golf and do the best I can.

Q. You had a good round today. Were the greens pretty receptive after all the rain yesterday?
JB HOLMES: Yeah, it was receptive. About like it was yesterday after it started raining. So you could definitely throw it at some pins. They had a few tucked, but the greens are rolling really good, so it’s true putting, so you can definitely make some birdies.

Q. Do you think this is a bomber’s course and do you just get pumped when you get here?
JB HOLMES: Yeah, when it rained, before it rained it was going to be tough, because all the fairways were running out. So after it rained it definitely soaked it up for the bombers to take advantage of a few holes. So it definitely can be good, there’s a lot of great players out here that might not be a bomber who can win, but yeah, definitely.

Q. In 2008 when you were a pick. Had you had talks with anybody from the team or Azinger and did you have a feeling that you might get picked, because you were looking ranked like 50th in the world at the time?
JB HOLMES: Yeah, I was like 16th or something I think on the Ryder Cup points.

Q. Yeah.
JB HOLMES: I talked to Paul all year and there was a unique situation there where I played that golf course a whole lot and really knew it. And it set up, he wanted some younger guys, so Paul, I was happy enough that, fortunate enough that Paul picked me.

Q. Well, the guys in your pod were the guys that picked you. It was Kenny and Furyk wanted you and Boo Weekley.
JB HOLMES: He talked to the whole team, but in the end Zinger is the one who makes the picks.

Q. Right, he has got a lot of influence, but those guys wanted you on the team too for those reasons. Did you have a sense that, going in, that you were going to get picked?
JB HOLMES: I was hoping, but I had talked to him and he said he was definitely looking at me, so I thought there was a chance, yeah.

Q. Was it by phone call you found out or what was the situation?
JB HOLMES: Yeah, he called me. After the second round of the playoffs he called me. The day before he announced it he called me and told me.

Q. What did you say to him?
JB HOLMES: Gosh, I told him thanks. I was excited, you know, I couldn’t wait for it, I couldn’t wait to get started.

Q. What was your highlight? What do you remember from that week?
JB HOLMES: The whole week was awesome, but the last hole I hit a wedge in, I hit it to about a foot. At the time it looked like that was going to be, my match was the one that was going to matter to clinch it. So after that we turned some matches, but that was the best moment for me.

Q. Did you ever watch the highlights? I know on the hole before on 16 you hit a drive left and it actually took a bunch of big bounces and kicked way down into the fairway. That was the hole where you had them cut that limb down the Thursday night. Talk about that hole.
JB HOLMES: It was a dogleg right hole and on that shot I pulled it where all the people had been and it came down the hill. Earlier in the week I had hit a really good drive in the middle of the fairway and had like a wedge in and there was a limb that was right in my way and I told Paul, the only person that’s really going to affect is me, so see if they could take it out.

Q. So you didn’t have to worry about it on Sunday?
JB HOLMES: Well, I was in the fairway, it wasn’t like I had hit to the right, I was in the fairway, so.

Q. Obviously, you’re playing well here this week, did you feel like you had already done enough to warrant a pick or do you still feel like you’re an auditioning?
JB HOLMES: If I would have done enough, I would have made the team. So, obviously, I wanted to play — I want to be on the team and all I can do is just play the best I can and hopefully I’ll get a pick.

Q. When did you realize you were focused too much on it?
JB HOLMES: It just took me awhile to figure it out. I think a lot of players go through this. I knew I was focusing too much on it, but it was hard to get my brain to stop thinking about it. So just needed to simplify things and start getting into my routines and just one shot at a time and just control what I control and let go of everything else. Easy to say, hard to do.

Q. Say the same thing about trying to get to East Lake. Do you just forget about that?
JB HOLMES: I’m trying to win every week I play, so all I can do is play and if I get there, I get there. If I don’t, I don’t.

Q. You’re not watching projections on the screens or anything like that?
JB HOLMES: Half the tournament isn’t over, it doesn’t do any good.

Q. You were flirting with the course record for a little while today. Were you aware of that?
JB HOLMES: I was aware of it a little bit, but it didn’t matter.

Q. Are you kicking yourself for No. 9?
JB HOLMES: No, 65 is pretty good. I’m not going to kick myself too hard. Obviously, I would have liked to have not bogeyed that hole, but it’s golf. It is what it is.

Q. Can you pick out one shot today that you’re most proud of or was the coolest or the best, one shot that stood out for you?
JB HOLMES: Not really. I hit a good shot on 11, I hit a 5-wood in there to about eight feet for eagle, so.

Q. That’s pretty good. How long was that putt?
JB HOLMES: Eight feet.

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