Justin Thomas sets Open scoring record with 9-under 63

Doug Mendoza
June 18, 2017

After sinking his eagle put on the 18th hole, Thomas ended his round with an overall score of 11-under par and in sole possession of the lead among an extremely crowded field.

The 24-year-old Thomas eagled the par-5 18th for just the fifth 63 in U.S. Open history.

"It doesn't matter how long, how whatever the course is", Thomas said about the longest course in major championship history.

"I'm not sure if it was the trousers", Thomas said. "It sets up really well for me, especially if I'm driving it like I did today".

Storms buffeted southeastern Wisconsin Friday night into Saturday morning, the lightening crackled west of Milwaukee and from the city sounded like fireworks. On the card were nine birdies and the eagle on 18. "For one, the greatness of my round is the 63 in the last round of the U.S. Open to win by one", Miller, 70, told the Golf Channel. "I've pictured winning the U.S. Open a lot of times before".

His 13-foot putt for birdie at the par-5 seventh moved him to 3 under for the day and 4 under for the tournament. "The setup is more like a tough tour event than a U.S. Open course. So I did a really good job of staying present, staying focused on the next shot".

He has coped with various injuries, mainly to his foot, but his spirits have never been higher at home with his wife and son, Lex. Casey is so happy that he gave up his European Tour membership - which meant a chance to play on the Ryder Cup team - although Europe might love to have him now.

There were 18 rounds in the 60s, starting with one for the record book. No previous tournament ever had three.

One of them is likely to prevail, and might do so in dramatic fashion. The long-hitting Thomas followed that up up with 64, 65, 66.

Thomas became the first man to shoot nine-under score in the history of the US Open.

Thomas' score overshadowed everything else that happened, including Patrick Reed almost matching his low score. "I just get a little shaky and jittery on putts and that's what happened on 15".

Hoffman birdied five of his first eight holes to get to 9 under, one shot clear of a massive logjam in second.

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Whenever he's been asked about Tiger Woods' quest for 19 majors, Jack Nicklaus always said that no one wants to see their records broken. "I don't know how I'm going to feel, but I'm excited for it".

But two-time major victor Miller was quick to take the gloss of Thomas' fine achievement, hinting Erin Hills is not so much an imposing US Open venue in comparison to others on the roster. Tom Weiskopf shot 75 after his and Vijay Singh shot 72 to follow his 63.

But come on Johnny, don't get too bitter about it.

What a day for Justin Thomas.

None of the leading 16 players have won a major before, making it likely that a run of six consecutive victories by first-timers will extend to seven this weekend.

Miller, who holds onto that 63 like Mercury Morris does the "72 Dolphins ideal record, always has an opinion, which he shared with Golf Channel after Thomas" round.

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Rickie Fowler, on the verge of being left behind, rallied with three straight birdies and shot 68.

"Nine (under) is pretty darn good", Fowler said after his round.

"I'm looking forward to my shot at it, and I know it's not going to be an easy day".

"But that was cool to see. We're definitely in good position for tomorrow".

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