Justin Thomas shot 59 on Thursday in the first round of the 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii, becoming the seventh player in PGA Tour history to score a sub-60 round.
Thomas shot 11 under par at Waialae Country Club, closing up with an eagle 3 on the par-5 ninth (which is actually the 18th hole of the course for its membership). Starting on the 10th tee and at 9 under on the day, Thomas’ tee shot on his final hole found the fairway bunker. When he got to the ball, he realized the lie was good enough that that there could be no way he wouldn’t go for the green in 2.
“I was so bummed when that tee shot went in the bunker,” he said after the round. “I thought it was going to be good. I got up there and had a perfect lie, and I’m like, you know what am I going to do, lay up?”
Thomas’ second shot landed 15 feet from the hole, giving him an eagle putt for the magical round.
“I wasn’t thinking a lot,” Thomas said of the putt. “I was just really more focused on trying to make the putt. Obviously I knew what it meant if I made it, and that was the first time I had a putt at 59. I was like, well, who knows when this is going to happen again, I may as well try and knock it in. I hit a great putt.”
Playing partner and good buddy Jordan Spieth, who shot 65 alongside Thomas, was thrilled to see the finish.
“What an unbelievable 5-iron out of a fairway bunker from 200-plus yards,” Spieth said of Thomas’ second shot. “And really committing to that putt, a left-to-righter up the hill, that’s a very easy one when the nerves are on to leave start. And I could tell right when he stroked it, he liked it, and it held in there.
“Yeah, I celebrated more than he did. Man, it’s awesome.”
The third man in the group, Daniel Berger, is close with Thomas, as well. Having those guys alongside of him for this round meant a lot for the Alabama product.
“To do that with two of your best friends out here and two of your friends that you played with for so long,” he said. “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.”