Justin Thomas becomes youngest member of PGA Tour 59 club

23-year-old American continues red-hot form at Sony Open after winning last week

 Justin Thomas  celebrates after carding an 11-under-par opening round of  59 in the first round of the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club  in Honolulu, Hawaii. Photograph: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Justin Thomas celebrates after carding an 11-under-par opening round of 59 in the first round of the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii. Photograph: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

 

Justin Thomas made history by becoming the youngest man to record a sub-60 round on the PGA Tour after carding a magnificent 11 under par 59 on the opening day of the Sony Open in Hawaii.

The 23-year-old American registered two eagles, eight birdies and a solitary bogey in Honolulu, as he became only the seventh man to break 60 on the PGA Tour.

Al Geiberger, Chip Beck, David Duval, Paul Goydos, Stuart Appleby and Jim Furyk are the other players to have achieved a below 60 round. Duval had previously been the youngest man to hold the record after managing the feat in 1999, aged 27.

Meanwhile, three birdies and two bogeys gave Seamus Power an opening one under par round of 69 to sit tied-74th.

Thomas, who last week emerged victorious in the SBS Tournament of Champions, also in Hawaii, sits three shots clear of nearest challenger Hudson Swafford, who made nine birdies and a bogey in his 62.

Reflecting on a remarkable last few days, Thomas told PGA Tour Radio: “It’s been a good week or so now. It was a fun day out there, it was the most I’ve ever had it rolling.

“My birdies were all very easy and I just had a lot of good luck and kept leaving it in the right spots.

“I didn’t drive it as well on the back nine but I got down to the magic number and that’s all that matters.”

The world number 12 spectacularly chipped in from a bunker on the 10th hole, his first, as he started and ended the day with eagles.

His only bogey came on his second hole but he entered the turn in 29 with five birdies in his next seven holes while he also picked up shots on the first, second and fourth before a near 15ft putt sealed his history-making moment.

He said: “When I chipped in on 10 on my first hole for eagle, you can’t really think of a much better start than that. Once I turned on that front nine everything was coming pretty easy up until then so it was just trying to ride the momentum and keep trying to make birdies.

“When I was on the 18th fairway I started thinking about 59. I don’t know whether that’s a good or a bad thing but I just knew I was driving it well and if you drive it well, I hear you can make a lot of birdies.”

South Africa’s Rory Sabbatini is on seven under, while Scotland’s Russell Knox is among eight players a shot further back.

World number five Jordan Spieth, the highest ranked player participating at Waialae Country Club this week, is six shots adrift of Thomas after a round of 65, with six birdies and a bogey.

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