The PGA’s reigning Player of the Year Justin Thomas lit the course up on Thursday with a 9-under 63 to lead the CJ Cup and Nine Bridges on Jeju Island, Korea by three strokes.
Thomas was a ho-hum 1-under through 11 holes, then put together one of the greatest closing stretches you’ll ever see on a golf course. He eagled No. 12, knocked down birdies on 14, 15, 16 and 17, and eagled 18 to shoot the back nine in a 7-under 29.
It started off with a really, really bad bogey,” Thomas said. “And then I had a seven-hole stretch there where I basically kind of went unconscious. That was pretty much most of my round.”
The eagle on 18 was nearly an albatross. His second shot with an wedge rolled within three feet of the hole.
Five players all shot 6-under 66s to sit tied for second, including Patrick Reed and Marc Leishman. Former No. 1 Jason Day is at 4-under along with Pat Perez, who just won the CIMB Classic.
At the other end of the spectrum is Korea’s own Gyu Min Lee who shot a miserable 15-over 87,consisting of 1 birdie, 6 bogeys, 2 double bogeys and 2 triple bogeys.