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Justin Thomas made a statement in the opening round of the 2017 Sony Open, finishing with an 11-under 59 on Thursday.
According to ESPN.com’s Jason Sobel, it’s the eighth time in PGA Tour history a golfer has shot below 60 in a round. Golf Channel researcher Justin Ray noted the 23-year-old Thomas is the youngest golfer to earn the distinction.
The PGA Tour shared a replay of Thomas’ eagle putt on No. 9, which secured a place in history:
An eagle … for 59 … BANG!
What a show from @JustinThomas34!! pic.twitter.com/X6aRKX08la
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 12, 2017
Below is Thomas’ scorecard from the round:
Thomas entered Honolulu fresh off his win in the Tournament of Champions last week, when he cruised to a three-shot victory over Hideki Matsuyama.
Fellow PGA Tour veteran Rickie Fowler reacted to Thomas’ recent hot stretch:
Boom Tower!!! @JustinThomas34 never leave the table on a heater!!! https://t.co/3PvrAcKu22
— Rickie Fowler (@RickieFowler) January 12, 2017
PGATour.com’s Jonathan Wall joked Thomas fared better Thursday than his alma mater, Alabama, in the College Football Playoff National Championship:
Who knew the best performance from the Tide this week would happen on the course. Heck of an eagle from Justin Thomas to shoot 59.
— Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall) January 12, 2017
Of course, one great round doesn’t win a tournament. Thomas sits six shots ahead of Russell Henley, Russell Knox and Gary Woodland, and that lead could evaporate over the weekend if his performance starts leveling off.
Still, there’s no question Thomas is off to a great start in the 2017 PGA Tour season.
In his first 69 events on the Tour, he had one win and 15 top-10 finishes. Through his first four events this year, he has two wins and three top-10s, and he may add a third victory at the Sony Open.
Thomas tied for 39th in his first Masters try in 2016. While the event is still a few months away, he’s emerging as a possible dark horse in Augusta, Georgia, this April with his great play in Hawaii.