MEXICO CITY – On Friday, Justin Thomas did something his father, Mike, had never seen.
Before heading to Chapultepec Golf Club for the second round of the WGC-Mexico Championship, Thomas called his father, who is also his swing coach, to tell him he was going to “practice.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever done that during a tournament. My dad, as sad as it is, was making fun of me because I called him and I said, ‘I’m going out to practice,’ and he said, ‘I’ve never heard you say I’m going out to practice instead of warm up before a tournament,’” said Thomas, who struggled on Thursday to an opening 72. “There’s a difference.”
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The extra work, and an assist via video from his father, paid off on Saturday, as the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year posted a course-record 62 to move into the hunt for his second consecutive victory.
Thomas began his day 11 strokes off the lead, but started his move with an opening nine (he started on No. 10) of five birdies and a bogey, which included a 46-footer for birdie at No. 18.
He kept the momentum going with an eagle on the first after driving just short of the green and added three more birdies to beat the course record set by Jordan Spieth last year.
Thomas said he sent his father eight videos of his swing and worked for about 40 minutes on Friday to correct what he described as an arm issue.
Thomas finished the day in 10th place and will need another stellar day on Sunday to catch leader Shubhankar Sharma, who stands four shots clear.
“I’m not expecting to have a very good chance to win the tournament,” said Thomas, who won last week’s Honda Classic. “If I do, that would be a huge bonus, but I’m just happy I moved up the leaderboard quite a bit.”