Justin Thomas is defending his title at the CJ Cup this week, having won the inaugural playing of the event a year ago. But his return to The Club at Nine Bridges on Thursday didn’t necessarily bring back a lot of warm fuzzy feelings.
Thomas struggled to build any momentum in the chilly, windy conditions at Jeju Island, shooting a one-over 73 to sit in a tie for 33rd, five strokes off the lead of Chez Reavie. Playing the back nine first, Thomas made the turn in one over, then birdied his 10th hole of the day. But a double bogey on his 13th hole—where he four-putted—set him back.
Still, the round was not without at least one highlight, as Thomas used what limited local knowledge he might have to pull off this long and winding second shot to the par-5 ninth hole, his last of the day.
Sporty, to say the least. If you’re a JT fan, however, you might want to stop reading right here. That’s because he failed to make the eagle putt that would have secured a gritty, grindy even-par round.