Jordan Spieth among several big names to start strong at Sony Open
Here is a recap of Thursday’s first round of the 2017 Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii:
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LEADING: Did Justin Thomas do anything today? Oh yeah, he posted the seventh 59 in PGA Tour history, closing with a clutch eagle to do it. Overall, an 11-under round for the guy who won last week. He’s 33 under in five PGA Tour rounds in 2017. Unreal. You might have thought he would have been tired after his Kapalua win or upset after Alabama’s heartbreaking national title game loss. Both may be true, but the 23-year-old was unfazed. Opening eagle, going out in 6-under 29 and closing eagle, while playing with great friends Jordan Spieth and Daniel Berger. And a three-shot lead. A Thursday can’t get much better than that.
CHASING: For much of the day after he finished, Thomas had a five-shot lead. But the afternoon wave changed that. Hudson Swafford posted a sensational 8-under 62, birdieing six of his last eight to reach that score. He’s closest to Thomas, with Rory Sabbatini solo third at 7 under. The South African was actually 6 under through 10 (Thomas was 7 under on his round at that point) but couldn’t keep charging for 18 holes. Some really nice names, though, at 6 under and 5 under. Russell Henley (past champion), Russell Knox, Tony Finau and Gary Woodland are all 6 under. Jordan Spieth, Daniel Berger, Charles Howell III, Jason Dufner and Vijay Singh are all 5 under.
More on Spieth. This is his second straight 65, as he closed in that score (in an 8-under round) to rocket to T-3 at the SBS Tournament of Champions. He was in the same group as Thomas, shot 65 and got waxed. But there are still 54 holes left, and Spieth, whose confidence is high, is right in position so far. He’s T-12, and while he’s already six back, he has 54 holes to make it up, and that deficit is even less daunting if Thomas falters.
SHOT OF THE DAY: Yeah, you think we’re not going to post the eagle putt for Thomas to shoot 59? His bunker shot on No. 9 from 200+ was amazing, but it matters little if you don’t finish off the eagle putt for 59. Thomas made sure this dramatic action ended in glory.
An eagle … for 59 … BANG!
What a show from @JustinThomas34!! pic.twitter.com/X6aRKX08la
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 12, 2017
QUOTABLE: “I was so bummed when that tee shot (on 9) went in the bunker, I thought it was going to be dead. (But) I got up there and had a perfect lie, and I was like ‘What am I going to do? Lay up?’ ” – Justin Thomas, on his decision to go for the green in two at his final hole
CHIP SHOTS: Richy Werenski, who got in this field after Si Woo Kim withdrew this week, made the most of his shot Thursday, birdieing three of his last four holes for an opening 65. … The Thomas-Spieth-Berger group combined for a score of 21 under. As a best-ball trio, they would’ve shot 17-under 53. … Bryson DeChambeau had the gutsiest day. As he noted on Twitter, DeChambeau thought very much about withdrawing as he was dealing with food poisoning and dehydration problems, certainly the main factor in him playing his first seven holes in 4 over. He then eagled 18, his ninth, double bogeyed the next, and somehow played his last seven holes in 5 under for a 1-under 69. Again, DeChambeau was really sick and did that. Incredible. He’s currently T-74 and may withdraw before the second round as, per Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis, DeChambeau went to the hospital Thursday night and got IVs to deal with these issues. Well, we hope he gets better, but regardless, bravo on sticking it out and posting that epic comeback, sir.
UP NEXT: Friday’s second round will be on Golf Channel from 7-10:30 p.m. ET. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.