Portrush (United Kingdom) (AFP) - British Open clubhouse leader J.B. Holmes has found his best at just the right time in Northern Ireland despite missing his dog, Ace, who was by his side during a horrible run of form on the PGA Tour.
Holmes said Ace, a six-month-old Goldendoodle, has been travelling with him around the United States since being bought for $5,000 (4,455 euros) at a charity auction.
"He's been on hundreds of planes probably. I don't know how many flights he's taken but he's been on a bunch," said the world number 55.
However the dog hasn't seen much success for Holmes in recent weeks, with the 37-year-old missing seven cuts in his last 12 events and withdrawing from another.
This week, Ace was left behind with Holmes' young son, and the American has surged into contention with rounds of 66 and 68 to reach eight-under par for the tournament.
"There's a lot of extra paperwork to go overseas. My wife usually handles all that and she's been busy with an 18-month-old. So we didn't have the time," he added.
"I miss my son and I miss the dog. They travel with us. And like I said, we miss them when we're here."
Holmes, who may have taken inspiration from his canine friend's name when making a hole-in-one en route to winning the Genesis Open in February, has his eye on lifting the Claret Jug on Sunday.
"Anytime you can get a major under your belt, that's what you're always trying to do," he said. "That's what you dream about from when you're a kid."