MEXICO CITY – Moments after narrowly missing a 14-footer for birdie that would have set a new course record at the WGC-Mexico Championship, Justin Thomas was asked if he knew who had originally set that record.
“Yeah, me,” he said with no small amount of frustration.
Although he came up short of that record – which he set during the third round last year – his record-matching 62 was good enough to vault him into the top 10 and give him some momentum going into next week’s Honda Classic, where he is the defending champion.
“To be honest, this might sound bad, but I just didn’t really care. I was hitting driver everywhere,” said Thomas, who started the day 16 strokes behind front-runner Dustin Johnson. “I drove it well yesterday, so it’s not like I was driving it bad and hitting driver. I felt like I was driving it well enough to where I could create a significant advantage for myself.”
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After starting his round with four consecutive birdies and making the turn at 5 under for the day, the idea of an historic round didn’t cross his mind until he began his second nine (he started on No. 10) with three consecutive birdies.
“After birdieing 6, I knew if I birdied my last three I’d shoot 59,” he said. “I was just trying to go as low as I could to finish as high as I could. I knew I obviously had zero chance to win the golf tournament, but if I possibly got two or three [birdies] more I could sneak in the top 5 potentially.”