Justin Thomas has been in his own world since the start of the 2016/2017 wraparound PGA Tour season.
The Alabama graduate has won an astounding three times in his last 5 starts, and in quite emphatic fashion. Golf experts and fans alike were unsure if the collegiate star would ever amount to anything on the Tour, but now only one question remains: How much will he win?
The PGA Tour, and golf itself, is known to be incredibly difficult to dominate for long periods of time. With such a wealth of highly skilled players in today’s game, no one has been able to get a firm grip on the top like Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus used to. Though it has only been a few weeks, Thomas has looked almost Tiger-like in his demolishing of the last two fields he has faced.
However, short runs from periphery tour players aren’t uncommon, and nearly everyone is expecting a slowdown from the youngster in coming tournaments.
But Thomas is confident this is just the beginning.
“I definitely haven’t showed the World my best golf yet,” Thomas said on Friday, after shooting a brilliant 11-under 59 on Thursday in the first round of The Sony Open in Hawaii. Thomas became the seventh player in Tour history to shoot under 60, and at 23, is the youngest ever on tour to shoot the ever sought after 59. Thomas also followed his first round with a solid 64 to set the record for the lowest two-day total in a PGA tournament with only 123 strokes.
After his historic start to The Sony Open, Thomas cruised to a seven shot victory after back to back 65s on Saturday and Sunday, just one week after his thrilling victory at Kapalua. Thomas showed calm beyond his years in both of his wins on the Hawaii swing, and his clutch performances in both contests show he can go low early in tournaments and hit quality shots down the stretch, both needed to win often on tour.
The last couple of weeks have been a “blur” for Thomas, as they have been for fans of the PGA Tour, who are wondering if his play will be a factor in major championships throughout the year. Thomas’s best finish in a major thus far was his tie for 18th in the 2015 PGA Championship.
His performance in majors has been less than good, but Thomas is young, and his hot start draws comparisons to some of golf’s greats. Thomas’s 54 hole lead of seven strokes at the Sony Open broke Jack Nicklaus’s record of a six shot 54 hole lead there, and only two other players have ever started a season on the tour by winning three of their first five starts. Johnny Miller did it twice, won two majors, and is in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The only other player to start so hot? Tiger Woods.
Thomas’s season so far may seem like a short-lived run on the surface, but his record setting performance looks like the early makings of a superstar.