By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentuckian J.B. Holmes closed with a 3-under par 67 Sunday in the final round of the Fed/Ex St. Jude Classic to finish 9-under par for the tournament and in third place.
He was 10 shots behind winner Dustin Johnson but still earned $448,000 with his third-place finish.
He started Sunday’s round with a bogey but had five birdies and just one birdie the rest of the way.
It was his second top five finish of the season and pushed his 2018 winnings to $1,098,988 and his career earnings to almost $23 million.
Holmes has yet to qualify for a spot in the British Open in July. If he does not, odds are he might play in the Barbasol Championship in Jessamine County.
“I think it would be huge if he did play,” Kentuckian Josh Teater, a Web.com player with a sponsor’s exemption for the Barbasol Championship, said. “I obviously know he doesn’t want to be here. He wants to be across the pond (at the British Open).
“But it would be huge to have him here if he doesn’t qualify for that. You would see a ton more people if he chooses to play.”
Holmes would have to be in the top 20 in the FedEx points — he’s currently 76th — or top 50 in the world to play in the British Open unless he wins a tourney in the next few weeks.
“He’s still got a couple of chances to qualify, and we hope he does,” said Brooks Downing, executive director of the Barbasol Championship. “If he does not, I would think it would be a no-brainer for him to play and be our Tiger Woods because of how popular he would be.”
Downing also had reached out to Senior Tour players Kenny Perry, Steve Flesch and Russ Cochran — all Kentuckians — about playing in the Barbasol Championship. However, the week after the Barbasol is when the BritishSenoir Open will be played at historic St. Andrew’s.
“We have to be patient. We have a four-year deal with this and Steve Flesch told us we can expect him to play in 2019. Hopefully we will see all those guys in the near future.”