Ex-Cats

Kentuckian J.B. Holmes: ‘There’s nothing like getting to play for your country’

J.B. Holmes is part of the 12-man United States roster for the Ryder Cup.
J.B. Holmes is part of the 12-man United States roster for the Ryder Cup. AP

Former University of Kentucky golfer J.B. Holmes will represent the United States in the Ryder Cup for the second time when the biennial competition against Europe tees off Friday at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn.

“I’m ecstatic to be here,” Holmes said during his Wednesday news 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.”

Hazeltine National Golf Club, known for its length, will present the field with a grueling challenge. Designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones, the course is par 72 and will play at 7,628 yards. Holmes leads the PGA Tour in driving distance with a 314.5 average off the tee.

Action begins Friday morning with an alternate-shot format, which will not include Holmes. The four pairs representing the United States will be Jordan Spieth-Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler-Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker-Zach Johnson and Dustin Johnson-Matt Kuchar.

Fourball will follow Friday afternoon, with pairings for that competition to be announced late Friday morning.

Holmes played a major role for the U.S. in his only previous Ryder Cup, when the event was held at Valhalla in Louisville in 2008. Holmes scored 2.5 points as the United States defeated Europe for its most recent win in the competition.

This weekend

Ryder Cup

What: Biennial match-play competition between the United States and Europe.

When: Friday through Sunday.

Where: Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn.

TV: Friday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (NBC-18); Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (NBC-18).

Series: United States leads 25-12-2.

U.S. roster: Rickie Fowler, J.B. Holmes, Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Ryan Moore, Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker, Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Walker.

Europe roster: Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Thomas Pieters, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Andy Sullivan, Lee Westwood, Danny Willett, Chris Wood.

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