Most golf fans likely know of Justin Thomas' huge fandom for Alabama. What we might have fully realized, however, is just how connected the 25-year-old star is in the Bama community. So much so that following the Crimson Tide's epic national championship win over Georgia on Monday—just a day after the win, in fact—Nick Saban picked up the phone when Thomas phoned the Alabama head football coach.
Yep, that's right—Thomas has a direct line to the coach. Thomas talked to reporters at the Sony Open about it on Wednesday:
"I called Coach Saban to leave him a voicemail yesterday, and he actually answered, which I couldn't believe. So I was actually shocked to get to talk to him. I just told him unbelievable. He's a legend. To make that decision on the biggest stage where, if it doesn't work out, the criticism he's going to get from that, not only from everybody else, but from the university, from the players. There's a reason he's … I mean, after that, probably the best college football coach of all time."
JT has talked about his low-key friendship with Saban before, and how JT and the six-time national-title-winning coach keep in touch throughout the year.
Saban is a huge golfer, so it's no surprise that he and JT have become close.
Saban has played in the Pebble Beach AT&T Pro-Am and the Champions Tour's Regions Tradition pro-am with Tom Watson, too. The Crimson Tide football coach even has golf written into his contract, which states that the university will cover his country-club membership dues at a club within Tuscaloosa County. He is also a member at Georgia's Waterfall Club.
Saban lists himself as a 10.2 at Waterfall, but he hasn't posted a score since 2012. (C'mon, Coach! You gotta stop working so hard.) His swing, on display at the Regions Tradition, still looks pretty stout: