Justin Thomas joins elite group after shooting a 59 in the first round at the Sony Open.
HONOLULU — Fresh off his victory on Maui, Justin Thomas joined the “59 Club” on the PGA Tour by making a 15-foot eagle on his last hole Thursday at the Sony Open for an 11-under 59.
Thomas thought his hopes at a 59 were over when his drive on the par-5 ninth hole at the Waialae Country Club was a foot from clearing a fairway bunker on the left and rolled back into the sand. He figured he couldn’t reach the green until realizing Daniel Berger hit 4-iron from the bunker onto the green.
Thomas figured “this wasn’t a time to lay up.”
He hit 5-iron clean and pure, and it settled 15 feet below the cup. Wasting little time over the putt, he poured it in for 59 and lightly pumped his fist. The excitement came from Berger and Jordan Spieth, and only when Thomas looked at their reaction did it begin to sink in.
“I got more excited from seeing them get excited,” he said.
Jim Furyk was the last player with a sub-60 round when he closed with a record 58 at the Travelers Championship last summer. Furyk also had a 59 in 2013 at the BMW Championship, joining the exclusive group that includes Al Geiberger (1977 Memphis Classic), Chip Beck (1991 Las Vegas Invitational), David Duval (1999 Bob Hope Classic), Paul Goydos (2010 John Deere Classic) and Stuart Appleby (2010 Greenbrier Classic).
Thomas made two eagles, along with a bogey.
Spieth, best friends with Thomas since they were 13, was more nervous than Thomas, who had a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 7 that looked good even when it was inches from the cup until burning the edge.
David Lingmerth (Arkansas Razorbacks) was 1 under after 13 holes. Ken Duke (Arkadelphia, Henderson State) was 1 over after 14. Bryce Molder (Conway) was 2 over after 15.