Former Kentucky men’s golf star J.B. Holmes is ready to get his second Ryder Cup weekend underway after finishing in the top five at the BMW Championship and in the top 30 at the Tour Championship to round out the PGA Tour Season.
“I’m ecstatic to be here,” Holmes said during his Wednesday press conference. “(The 2008 Ryder Cup) was the best experience in golf that I’ve ever had. It was just unbelievable. It’s great to be here again with the team. It’s an unbelievable feeling. There’s nothing like getting to play for your country. I’m very excited to be here.”
Team USA led by Davis Love III will field a team comprised of captain’s picks, Holmes, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and Ryan Moore. The rest of the team includes Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker, Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker.
Hazeltine National Golf Club, known for its length, will present the field with a grueling challenge, as it has with other events in past years. Designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones, the course itself is par 72 and will play at 7,628 yards. Holmes currently leads the PGA Tour in driving distance with a 314.5 average off the tee. The elongated course’s last championship was the 2009 PGA Championship, won by Y.E. Yang over Tiger Woods.
During competition, players have almost always had to battle harsh winds, but it doesn’t appear that wind will be a strong factor for this season’s battle. Chances of rain are unlikely through play this weekend as well, while temperatures are set to be in the high-50s to lower-60s.
Action will begin on Friday with the morning foursomes in an alternate shot format teeing off at 8:35 a.m., 8:50, 9:05, and 9:20 ET, while the afternoon fourball will follow, beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Saturday will follow the same schedule. Sunday at the Ryder Cup will only consist of singles play with tee times beginning at 12:04 P.m. ET and stretching to 2:05 p.m. in 11-minute intervals.
The 37th Ryder Cup was played at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2008 with Holmes playing a major part in the United States’ victory. A crowd favorite thanks to his local ties, Holmes scored 2.5 points with a win and a tie during the fourball portion of the event, as well as a victory in the head-to-head final day matchup. He defeated Soren Hansen 2&1 by making two final birdies to set up Jim Furyk’s clinching win.
Fans looking to learn more about team selection, format, and scoring can find more information here.
TV SCHEDULE (ET)
Friday, Sept. 30: 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the GOLF Channel
Saturday, Oct. 1: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on NBC
Sunday, Oct. 2: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on NBC
For the latest on the Kentucky men’s golf team, follow @UKMensGolf on Twitter and on the web at UKathletics.com.
by Grant Gearheart