Justin Thomas didn’t lose his game on the short flight from Maui to Oahu.
In fact, he only got better.
Four days after winning the SBS Tournament of Champions, Thomas stayed hot Thursday at the Sony Open. He chipped in for eagle on his opening hole, turned in 29 and sank a 15-foot eagle putt on his final hole to become the seventh PGA Tour player to shoot 59.
At 23 years old, he is the youngest ever to break the sub-60 barrier.
Thomas made eight birdies, two eagles and a bogey at par-70 Waialae Country Club. He hit eight of 14 fairways, 14 greens and needed just 23 putts.
After the morning wave, Thomas had a five-shot lead.
It looked like Thomas might come up short of golf’s magic number. He scrambled for par on the eighth hole (his 17th of the day) and then barely missed clearing a fairway bunker on the par-5 ninth. But from a perfect lie, 206 yards away, he stiffed his 5-iron approach to 15 feet.
"It was the first time I’ve had a putt for 59," Thomas said, "and I was like, well, who knows if this is gonna happen again, so I might as well try to knock it in."
As the ball curled in toward the cup, he raised his putter and smiled. He pumped his fist and hugged his two playing competitors, Jordan Spieth and Daniel Berger.
“That was really cool to me,” Thomas said, “to do that with two of your best friends and to have them go as crazy as they did was really cool.”
Thomas joined David Duval (1999) as the only players to eagle the final hole and shoot 59.
"He deserved it," Spieth said. "What an awesome last five rounds he’s had."
Thomas shot 22 under par last week at Kapalua to win by three shots, his second victory in four starts this season. He's 33 under in his last five rounds.
“I feel confident,” Thomas said. “I have a good calmness out here and I’m very comfortable. Unfortunately I know all rounds aren’t going to be like today, so I’ve just got to enjoy it while I can.”