KAPALUA, Hawaii – Tied atop a crowded leaderboard at the SBS Tournament of Champions, Justin Thomas pulled away from the pack in impressive style late Saturday afternoon.
At the par-4 14th hole, Thomas’ drive climbed 281 yards uphill and onto the green, where he then converted a 22-foot putt for eagle to move to 17 under and into the solo lead.
“[Caddie Jimmy Johnson] and I talked about 3-wood or driver. He said, ‘I think you hit the perfect shot yesterday, just a little higher,’” said Thomas, who has carded three rounds of 67 and leads by two strokes.
“It's pretty into the grain and uphill short of that green. And I was like, it needs to be something hot to run up there, and I just nuked it and hit it low and just enough to scoot up the ridge.”
Just three of the 56 attempts to drive the green this week have found the putting surface, and Thomas’ is the only eagle recorded at the 14th this week.