Justin Thomas is eager to make the most of his excellent start and build on his lead heading into Friday’s second round of the US Open.
The American did a sound job at handling the pressures of a difficult Winged Foot Golf Club, opening his account with a brilliant 5-under-par 65 on Thursday.
As he has proven often in the past, Thomas showed his capabilities of working through the course – grinding his way to a one-shot lead and in pursuit of a second Major title.
‘It was a good day for me from the start. I’ve just played really, really solidly,’ said Thomas upon the conclusion of his day in New York.
‘I hit a lot of really quality tee shots. Only had a few squirrely ones, it felt like. The few greens I missed, I hit great bunker shots to give myself good par chances.’
Thomas, who won the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in August, is eager to use his early advantage over the next three days but is well aware that the job is by no means finished.
‘It was a really, really solid round of golf. It’s one of the best rounds I’ve played in a while tee to green. There are a couple things here and there that definitely could have been better, but I made sure all of my misses were in the right spot, and that’s what you have to do at a U.S. Open.
‘It’s helpful with three days left, but it’s not even remotely close to being over. As great of a round and fun as it was, it’s over with now, and I need to get over it because I got 54 more holes to try to play well and shoot some good scores.’
The 27-year-old is being chased by a group of three players currently in T2 with Patrick Reed, Thomas Pieters and Matthew Wolff also making good starts to their respective campaigns.
They are closely followed by Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood, who are a further stroke back on 3 under.
‘It’s still Winged Foot. You’ve still got to hit the shots. That kind of was my game plan going into the week is that, I need to respect the course, but if I’m driving it well and playing well, I do need to try to make some birdies, and that’s exactly what we did today,’ Thomas added.