Golf: Defending champion Thomas bent out of shape at Honda Classic

Feb 28, 2019; Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA; Justin Thomas tees off on the 18th hole during the first round of The Honda Classic golf tournament at PGA National (Champion). Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Defending champion Justin Thomas hurt his right wrist undertaking a risky shot during the first round at the Honda Classic in Florida on Thursday. The incident happened at the 10th hole at PGA National, after his ball ended up a couple of feet behind a tree following an errant drive. Even though he knew he was risking injury, and perhaps breaking the club, Thomas took a full swing with a nine-iron rather than take the safer option of chipping out sideways. Bark flew in all directions as the hosel of his club struck the tree at high speed, but the club did not break. Instead the shaft bent violently and transferred the energy into Thomas's hands. He shook his right wrist and later confirmed he had hurt it. "I thought the way the club was going to hit the tree it was gong to break and I'd have to avoid a nine-iron the rest of the day but it didn't break," Thomas told reporters after shooting a two-under-par 68 that left him four strokes behind leader Jhonattan Vegas. "It hit near the hosel and sent a little shock up my arm. "I'll just ice my wrist a little bit tonight and I'll be fine." The risky shot was not really rewarded, because Thomas bogeyed the hole anyway. (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom)