Hot Mic SZN
British Open 2022: This Justin Thomas-Shane Lowry exchange is the hot mic moment of the year, possibly the century
On Thursday at St. Andrews, Justin Thomas, the reigning PGA champion and one of the 10 best players on the planet (and he ain't No. 10), cold-topped his tee shot on the 18th tee at the Old Course. There is no video, but Thomas confirmed the top did indeed happen on Twitter after completing his first round:
Of course, a tour pro's definition of a top is a little different than ours. Thomas' "top" still traveled 252 yards on the Old Course's baked-out turf, leaving him with 125 yards to the hole. Far worse tops have been hit, both at the professional and amateur level, but it was obviously not what Thomas had in mind when he pulled the 5-wood out of the bag.
Playing alongside Viktor Hovland and Shane Lowry on Friday evening, Thomas returned to the 18th tee and this time pulled driver as so many of the players did in Round 2 with a slight breeze into their face. He proceeded to launch one up the left side and went for the quick tee grab, at which point Lowry could be heard saying "much improved," a little callback to Thursday's cold top. Thomas quickly sniped back with the hot mic moment of the year, and possibly the century (earmuffs, kids):
Judging by the raucous laughter that could be heard right after, we're assuming this was quality, lighthearted banter between the two major champions. A+ snipe from Lowry and an A+++ snipe back from Thomas. No harm, no foul. Thomas had to know this was coming anyway. When a player of his caliber tops one, you know you're going to hear about it at some point.
Unfortunately, Thomas was unable to get it up and in for birdie, missing a six-footer and settling for his second par on the 18th this week. At two under, he's 11 back and in need of a miracle (or five) to have any chance of seriously contending. No more cold tops would help his chances, too.