Justin Thomas plays well in first round since LASIK surgeryHeld the lead at Hero World Challenge until double bogey on 18
December 02, 2021
By Cameron Morfit , PGATOUR.COM
Justin Thomas chips it tight to set up birdie at Hero
NASSAU, Bahamas – Justin Thomas has been sporting sunglasses at the Hero World Challenge this week, but he’s not taking a page from Phil Mickelson.
As it turns out, Thomas underwent LASIK surgery a week and a half ago, and he’s trying to protect his eyes in the bright sunshine at Albany Golf Club.
“Yeah, I've been wanting to do it for a while,” Thomas said after shooting a 5-under 67 in the first round at the Hero, where he trails co-leaders Abraham Ancer, Daniel Berger and Rory McIlroy by one. “It finally just worked out with the schedule to get it done.
“That's why I keep walking around with the sunglasses,” he continued. “I don't wear those too often, just trying to protect the eyes.” (He normally wears contact lenses.) “Yeah, it was nice to get that done a week and a half ago and try to put it to the test here this week.”
If Thursday was a test, he earned a decent grade. He birdied the 14th, 15th and 16th holes to take the outright lead at 7 under before a hiccup at the last, where he made double bogey to slip into a tie for second with playing partner Brooks Koepka and Webb Simpson.
Thomas is coming off a third-place finish at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, Mexico, and is 32nd in the FedExCup and sixth in the Official World Golf Ranking. He finished fourth in the FedExCup last season, with seven top-10 finishes, including a win at THE PLAYERS Championship, despite finishing outside the top 100 in Strokes Gained: Putting.
As for his bloodshot eyes Thursday, Thomas said they didn’t hurt.
“They look terrible,” he said, “but they feel fine. They're just a little dry.”