Alabama football meant early wake-up call for Thomas


Final-round jitters can often lead to restless nights of sleep for golfers on the PGA Tour, but Justin Thomas was up early Sunday at the CIMB Classic for a far different reason.

Thomas went to the University of Alabama, helping the school win a national title in 2013. He remains an ardent fan, and wasn't going to miss the school's marquee football game against Texas A&M - even though the Saturday afternoon tilt was being played early Sunday morning in Malaysia, site of this week's tournament.

"The Alabama game kicked off at 3:30 (a.m.) our time," Thomas told reporters. "Woke up at about 4:00 and got the computer and streamed it and just laid in bed and watched it, and probably woke up a couple people in the rooms next to me."

Alabama rallied for the win, 33-14, and Thomas Facetimed with several friends who were at the game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to celebrate. Hours later, Thomas followed suit by turning a four-shot deficit into a three-shot win to successfully defend his title in Kuala Lumpur.

According to the champ, a little loss of sleep was a worthwhile sacrifice to watch his top-ranked team notch another victory.

"Very pleased with our performance and it was definitely a good start today," he said. "I don't know how today would have gone if they had lost."