Scoring records Justin Thomas broke or tied at the Sony Open in Hawaii –
- Broke the PGA TOUR 72-hole scoring record (253)
- Tied Steve Stricker for PGA TOUR 54-hole scoring record (188)
- Tied Steve Stricker for lowest score over three consecutive rounds (188)
- Broke the PGA TOUR 36-hole scoring record (123)
At the age of 23 years, 8 months and 14 days, Justin Thomas became the youngest player in PGA TOUR history to post
a sub-60 round, topping David Duval who did so at the 1999 CareerBuilder Challenge (PGA WEST – Palmer Course) at the age of 27 years, 2 months, 15 days.
Justin Thomas joined Rory McIlroy (2012) and Tiger Woods (1999) as players age 23 or younger to win in back-to-back weeks on the PGA TOUR.
Of the seven players who have posted a sub-60 score on the PGA TOUR, Justin Thomas produced the lowest round immediately following his sub-60 score with his 64 in the second round. Following his 58 in the final round of the Travelers Championship, Jim Furyk opened the Wyndham Championship with a 66
Jason Dufner’s 30 birdies en route to his win at the 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge tied the most birdies in an event in the 2015-16 season (Justin Thomas 2015 CIMB Classic). Thomas and Dufner were just the fifth and sixth players, respectively, to make at least 30 birdies in an event in the last five years on the PGA TOUR.
Not only was Arnold Palmer the inaugural winner of the Palm Springs Golf Classic in 1960 (one of five wins in the Coachella Valley), his 62nd and final PGA TOUR win came at the California desert stop in 1973. Palmer’s grandson, PGA TOUR member Sam Saunders, will play the 2017 CareerBuilder Challenge on a sponsor exemption.
Two-time CareerBuilder Challenge winner Bill Haas has played his last 39 rounds under par at the CareerBuilder Challenge, marking the most by any player at this event since 2008. Haas is 176-under par, the most by any player, over this time frame.
PGA TOUR Champions
Woody Austin went wire-to-wire to win the Diamond Resorts Invitational, while two-time MLB All-Star Mark Mulder topped the celebrity field at Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort in Orlando, Florida. One day after Justin Thomas shot 59 at the Sony Open in Hawaii, Austin opened the tournament with a 12-under-par 59, though it will not be counted as an official round because it came in a Challenge Season event using modified stableford scoring.
Before playing in the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, three players competed at the Sony Open in Hawaii. At 60 years old, Fred Funk made the cut and became the oldest player to play the weekend at Waialae, beating the record he set last year. Vijay Singh also made the cut and finished tied for 57th, while David Toms missed the cut.
The PGA TOUR Champions regular season begins this week with the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai (January 19-21). This year’s 49-player field includes 11 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame and 18 players who have
won a combined 37 majors on the PGA TOUR. David Toms is set to make his much-anticipated debut on PGA TOUR Champions, while Bernhard Langer will begin his pursuit of his fifth Charles Schwab Cup and fourth in a row. Duffy Waldorf won this event in 2016, and he is one of the nine past champions in the field.
Last week, Bernhard Langer was named the recipient of the Jack Nicklaus Award, which honors the Player of the Year. He also won the Arnold Palmer Award (leading money winner) and the Byron Nelson Award (lowest scoring average). Paul Broadhurst won twice in 2016 and was named Rookie of the Year.
The Web.com Tour returns to The Bahamas for The Bahamas Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club, the second of back-to-back events in The Bahamas with a Sunday-Wednesday (January 22-25) tournament format. All four rounds will be broadcast live on the Golf Channel as the 132-player field continues the chase for 25 PGA TOUR cards.
In the season-opening The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay, Web.com Tour veteran Kyle Thompson battled through windy conditions to take home his fifth career Web.com Tour title with a two-shot victory over Andrew Yun and Nicholas Thompson. Thompson’s 2-under 286 was the highest score by a winner since Omar Uresti’s victory at the 2007 Livermore Valley Wine Country Championship.
Thee 11-over 155 cutline at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic was the highest in Web.com Tour history and the par-4 12th hole at the Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course played as the most difficult hole in Web.com Tour history with a scoring average for the week of 5.008.
2014 Web.com Tour alum Justin Thomas recorded his second consecutive PGA TOUR victory in Hawaii – and third of the 2016-17 season – with a runaway seven-shot victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii that included an 11-under 59 in the first round. In his lone season on the Web.com Tour in 2014, Thomas won the 2014 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and earned his TOUR card with a fifth-place finish on the 2014 Regular Season money list.
Nine of the top 10 in the FedExCup standings are former Web.com Tour players, including Justin Thomas (1), Pat Perez (3), Brendan Steele (4), Mackenzie Hughes (5), Rod Pampling (6), Cody Gribble (7), Russell Knox (8), Gary Woodland (9), and Luke List (10).
Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada
Aaron Wise, a member of “The Five” from the 2016 Mackenzie Tour, will play on a sponsor exemption this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge. The 20-year-old University of Oregon product won the Syncrude Oil Country Championship, becoming the youngest winner in Mackenzie Tour history, and finished inside the top 15 in all seven of his starts to conclude the season at No. 4 on the Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit and earn Web.com Tour status for 2017. In total, seven PGA TOUR-era alumni (2013-present) are in the field this week.
PGA TOUR Latinoamérica
Hunter Hamrick of Montgomery, Ala. led a group of 34 players who earned PGA TOUR Latinoamérica status for the 2017 season at the U.S. Qualifying Tournament played at the Sun ‘N Lake GC in Sebring, Fla. last week. The 27-year-old posted rounds of 72-65-66-68 to win by three shots and secure full exempt status.
PGA TOUR Latinoamérica has three more Qualifying Tournaments left to play in Mexico, Colombia and Argentina over the next two weeks. Featuring a field of 120 players, the second event started today at Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Resort in Mazatlán, Mexico.
The 2017 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season is scheduled to start next month with the 70th Colombia Open in Bogota, Colombia.
Including last season’s Player of the Year Nate Lashley of Scottsdale, Ariz. and Order of Merit No. 6 Corey Conners of Ontario, Canada, six PGA TOUR Latinoamérica graduates finished inside the top 20 at the opening event of the Web.com Tour season last week at the Bahamas. Lashley and Conners tied for fifth, with Augusto Núñez of Argentina, Roberto Díaz of Mexico, Kent Bulle of Glasgow, Ky. finishing T13 and Seth Fair of Brownsburg, Ind. finishing T17.