Golf’s a very funny game, something Justin Thomas knows all too well.
Statistically, he’s played some of the best golf of his career since returning from injury in June. Yet he does not have a single top 10 in seven starts since the Masters, and he’s not won on the PGA Tour in over a year. For a player who has won nine times since 2015, going this long without a victory can’t be easy.
Following his pre-round practice session on Thursday at Medinah, Thomas did not like his chances to end his win drought this week at the BMW Championship. So of course he went out and shot a seven-under 65, tying the course record and grabbing a share of the first-round lead. Funny game.
“I probably would say that I had the worst warmup I’ve ever had in my life this morning,” said Thomas. “I didn’t know what it was going to do. I didn’t know how I was going to hit it, and my dad and Jimmy and I just kind of said that we were going to have to guess out there and just try to find something. I’ve had that happen plenty of times, just not quite that extreme. I’m usually pretty good at finding my way around a golf course and finding something, but definitely didn’t expect that today.”
Thomas went out in four-under 32, then parred the first four holes of his back nine before making three straight birdies beginning at the 14th hole. The round, which was bogey free, matches his second-lowest of the season.
“I’m playing every bit as good as I have any other year this year for sure.”
Thomas is tied with Jason Kokrak, who made six birdies, an eagle and one bogey. Jim Furyk is among a group one back at six-under, while Australia’s Adam Scott and Xander Schauffele are at five-under. Tiger Woods shot a one-under 71 and sits six off the lead.