NSW Golf

Thomas eagles to shoot 59

Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas celebrates his magical 59 in Hawaii. Picture GETTY IMAGES

Whatever is one step warmer than white-hot, that's Justin Thomas.

The American, seeking his third win in five starts, carded just the eighth sub-70 round in US PGA Tour history to begin the Sony Open in Hawaii.

His 11-under-par 59 at the Waialae Country Club on Oahu featured book-end eagles with Thomas chipping in for two on the 10th and making a spectacular three on the par-five ninth after putting his drive into a fairway bunker.

The 23-year-old, who has rocketed to No.12 in the world rankings. even endured a bogey as he opened up a three-stroke lead after round one with a large group tied fourth on 64, including Australian Cam Smith.

Thomas defended his CIMB Classic title in Malaysia late last year, then won his first PGA Tour title on American soil at the Tournament of Champions last week on neighbouring Maui.

After his bogey on 11, Thomas stood on the 13th tee just one under, but rattled off eight birdies in his next 10 holes until his charge stalled with pars from holes 5-8.

But his 189m second from the sand on the long ninth set up a 5m eagle try to break the magical barrier -- and he duly obliged.

Thomas is just the seventh player in US PGA Tour history to break 60, with Jim Furyk, who shot a 58 at last year's Travelers Championship, the only player to achieve the feat twice.

Smith was one of eight players in the clubhouse at six under and the leading Australian.

Greg Chalmers, Marc Leishman and Rod Pampling all signed for 68s, while Cameron Percy shot a 69 and John Senden an even-par 70.

18 February 2019
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