Once J.B. Holmes made the decision to have brain surgery in September, he never looked back. There was little worrying. Hardly any thought that he’d never compete again on the PGA TOUR.
“I never really let it go more than just a second thinking I might never come back,” Holmes said Friday, after firing a 6-under 64 in the second round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic. ”I always say well, I’ll be back in January and I’ll be a hundred percent and I won’t have these symptoms. That’s really the only way I looked at it.”
His performance this week is proof that Holmes is feeling fine. The two-time PGA TOUR winner carded a 6-under 29 on the front nine in his second round and would finish in the lead at 6 under after the morning wave completed play.
Holmes, 30, had surgery in September at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in which doctors removed a small portion of his skull in order to relieve pressure that was causing vertigo-like symptoms. About a month later, he was airlifted back to the hospital due to an allergic reaction from the glue used on the titanium plate that was initially inserted into his skull.
“I knew being dizzy, having headaches and everything that I couldn’t keep my card, I couldn’t play out here anymore, so I had to get something done,” Holmes said. “So it was almost a relief to find out that the surgery was something that could help the symptoms and everything. …
“At the end of the day, when you get down, you really sit back and realize it’s not that important and you can always — there’s a tournament every week. You can play somewhere almost every week.”
Holmes has been playing quite well just about every week this season.
In 13 events, he’s tallied two top 10s and four top 25s. He’s also coming off a T13 at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. And he looks to be rounding into form for the stretch run of the season.
Holmes, who hit 14 greens in regulation on Friday, would like nothing more than to finish the weekend with his first victory since 2008.
”Played really well today, hit my irons great and made a few putts on the front side and it was a good round for me,” he said.