Advertisement

Thomas returns at Sony Open and scene of scoring records

From FOX Sports - January 10, 2018

HONOLULU (AP)The Sony Open is where Justin Thomas broke the PGA Tours scoring record, starting with his 59.

And it was that round when Jordan Spieth got a taste of his own medicine.

Thomas and Spieth were paired together for the opening round at Waialae Country Club, and no one celebrated more than Spieth when he watched his longtime friend make eagle on his 18th hole for a 59 .

But heres what was so amazing about that round: Spieth actually had better chances.

Spieth was an average of 18 feet, 4 inches on his approach shots, best in the field for the first round. Thomas averaged 25 feet, 7 inches, ranking him seventh. Not only was Spieth closer to him most of the round, at times they were on the same line. On one hole, Spieth had to move his mark for Thomas to putt for birdie (he made), and then Spieth had the same putt from a shorter distance (he missed).

I was like a stroke-and-half or something better tee-to-green than he was that round, I got beat by like seven shots, Spieth said with a laugh.

It was only six shots (Spieth only shot 65), but it felt like more. And by the end of the week, Thomas broke or tied records at every turn until he had a seven-shot victory and a 253 for the lowest 72-hole score in PGA Tour history.

Thomas finished the season with five victories, his first major, PGA Tour player of the year and the FedEx Cup title. He has talked about the challenge in following up such a season, and that starts with avoiding comparisons.

That will be tough at the Sony Open, especially for the first round Thursday. And it probably didnt help that Thomas, despite closing with three pars and failing to birdie the par-5 18th, shot a 61 in the pro-am on Wednesday (with pins in the middle of greens).

The Sony Open is the first full-field event of the year, and 124 of the 144 players have had nearly two months off.

The European Tour also resumes its season by co-sanctioning the BMW South African Open. The Web.com Tour season begins in the Bahamas, and a few LPGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions players get to warm up in an official event in Florida called the Diamond Resorts Invitational. In a Ryder Cup year, Europe gets a dress rehearsal with some players who are taking on Asian players in the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia.

PGA TOUR

Thomas, Spieth and Daniel Bergerwho all graduated from high school in 2011were in the same group last year. This year might be even better for Thomas, who begins his title defense Thursday afternoon alongside Jason Dufner and Kevin Kisner. It seems Thomas (Alabama) and Kisner (Georgia) made a bet on the college football title game . The result is that Kisner plans to wear an Alabama jersey on the 17th hole.

Even being in Hawaii, its not all fun and games.

Advertisement

Continue reading at FOX Sports »