Magical 59 gives Thomas early lead

Long-hitting American Justin Thomas started and finished with eagles to fire a sizzling 11-under-par 59 for an early five-stroke lead in the opening round of the Sony Open in Hawaii on Thursday.
Taking advantage of ideal scoring conditions at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Thomas became only the seventh player to break 60 on the PGA Tour after he also racked up eight birdies and a lone bogey.
The 23-year-old could have gone even lower as he narrowly missed birdie putts on the fifth and seventh holes, but he closed in champion style with his eagle at the par-five ninth where he hit a five-iron from a fairway bunker to 15 feet and coolly sank the putt.
“It means a lot,” Thomas told Golf Channel after his dazzling 59 put him five shots in front of fellow Americans Russell Henley, Gary Woodland and Tony Finau, Scotland’s Russell Knox and Australian Cameron Smith. “Any time you’re in history in any sport… it’s a good thing and we all know it’s the magical number in golf.”
Thomas, who won his third PGA Tour title on the Hawaiian island of Maui on Sunday, said that he first had thoughts of shooting a possible 59 while playing his ninth hole of the day.
“It honestly entered my brain on 18th fairway when I had eight-iron in and I was like, ‘You’d think I’m going to make birdie here and turn at six (under)’,” he recalled of his outward half of six-under 29.
“As well as I was driving it, I can go shoot six or seven (under) on this side and really, really post some history. But the two best putts I probably hit today didn’t even go in, on five and seven.
“We (playing competitors Jordan Spieth and Daniel Berger) were talking about that and it was crazy how they didn’t go in. Just enough went in, though, and that’s all that matters.”
Double Major champion Spieth, like Berger, opened with a 65 but he was more than happy to play second fiddle to his good friend Thomas in the opening round.
“I’m just really, really happy for JT right now,” said Spieth, who roared with delight after Thomas sank his eagle putt on the final hole, the par-five ninth. “It’s history, it’s awesome, it’s really cool… to be able to watch it today.” — Reuters