Justin Thomas Joins the 59 Club at the Sony Open
Just last week Justin Thomas walked away with his 3rd PGA Tour title at the SBS Tournament of Champions in Maui, Hawaii. On Thursday, the 23 year old American player holed a 15-foot eagle putt on the par-5 ninth hole at the Waialae Country Club to card a 59 becoming the seventh and youngest player to join the 59 club.
“It was obviously a fun day,” said Thomas. “I just kind of had it rolling out there. All my birdies were easy it wasn’t like I made any long putts or anything.”
Thomas finished his first round at the Sony Open with a 3-shot lead over American player Hudson Swatford, who had 9 birdies and an 8-under par 62.
The sixth person to join the elite 59 was Jim Furyk who carded a 58 at the 2016 Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut becoming the first player in PGA Tour history to record such a score. The 46 year old was recently named as the U.S. Captain of the 2018 Ryder Cup.
In his first round, Thomas opened with an eagle at the par-4 10th. By the end of the day, he had 8 birdies, a bogey and saved a 9-foot putt on the eighth.
“That save on eight was huge,” said Thomas. “It gave me a chance because I knew if I hit a good drive on nine I was going to have a seven- or eight-iron in.”
However, on the ninth, he hit his tee shot into a fairway bunker and it definitely did not look good for him. The dream seemed to be fading. But his luck changed when he hit an incredible shot-iron from the bunker to 15 feet where he holed the eagle making history.
“I was so bummed when that tee shot went in the bunker, I thought it was going to be dead,” Thomas said. “But, I got up there and had a perfect lie, and I was like ‘What am I going to do? Lay up?’ ”
“So, I just hit a 5-iron as high as I could and hoped it got there, and it did.”
“That’s the first time I’ve had a putt for 59, and who knows if it’s going to happen again,” Thomas said. “May as well knock it in.” And he did.
Jordan Spieth and Daniel Berger, his playing partners and best friends high-fived him, as they celebrated his historical moment.
“So I didn’t really know how to react. I never had a putt on the last hole on a Thursday mean that much. So that part was a little odd, and I don’t even know what I did. I just know I looked at them, and they were going nuts, and I think I went nuts, and then I think we just high-fived.
“The coolest part for me was how excited they were for me on 18. To do that with two of your best friends out here and two of your friends that you played with for so long. There’s a handful of guys that are just cool to be around, but those are people that I’m going to be playing with and hanging out with for the next 20, 25 years out here. I’ll have that on them for now but that was a lot of fun.”
Spieth admitted that he was nervous for his friend.
“I was nervous on my putt, and I realized that it wasn’t for my putt. Honestly, I was sitting there like, ‘Why am I nervous on my putt? I’m six back right now. Why am I nervous?’ And then I realized afterwards, it didn’t go away after I hit my putt, so I was nervous for him. That’s a really, really tough putt that he just hit in order to get to the hole. I mean, uphill, left-to-right, with that much pressure, it’s easy to just feel like you’re not going to be as aggressive with it and give it a chance to die in. And he just put a really, really nice aggressive stroke on it and it held in there. I mean, Berg and I reacted accordingly, I think.”
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