Justin Thomas says he hadn’t expected to play so well in the first round of the BMW Championship after grabbing a share of the lead.
On a day of low scoring at Medinah Country Club, with only two of the 69-man field shooting over par, Thomas sits atop the leaderboard alongside Jason Kokrak after both men shot rounds of seven-under 65.
The 26-year-old says he had endured a painful time on the range on Thursday morning when warming up for his opening round but didn’t show it after he teed off, eventually matching the course record.
The 2017 US PGA Championship winner picked up four shots on the front nine as he made the turn in 32 before back-to-back birdies from the 14th, followed by the high point of his round, holing a 55ft putt at the 16th for his seventh birdie.
The former world number one has virtually guaranteed his spot in next week’s FedEx Cup play-off finale, the Tour Championship, with his opening round but says winning a first tournament in over a year is all that matters heading into day two.
It’s about winning tournaments,
he told the PGA Tour website, before going on to admit that he hadn’t anticipated playing so well after a tough practice.
I probably would say that I had the worst warmup I’ve ever had in my life this morning,
added the 2017 FedEx Cup champion.
I’ve had that happen plenty of times, just not quite that extreme,
I’m usually pretty good at finding my way around a golf course and finding something, but definitely didn’t expect that today.”
Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker are part of a five-man group tied for third a stroke back on Thomas and Kokrak.
World number one and FexEx Cup leader Brooks Koepka is on four under after an opening 68 with Justin Rose joining him on that mark.
Rory McIlroy is four strokes off the lead after a 69, while Tiger Woods found the going tricky as he carded a one-under 71.