Roll Tide Roll
Nick Saban predicts Justin Thomas will have a big year live on AMEX broadcast, Thomas promptly hits it in the water
As head coach for the almighty Alabama Crimson Tide, every second of Nick Saban's life was dedicated to keeping his program at the very top of the sport. But now the 72-year-old is retired, which means this time he'd normally be spending recruiting the next crop of five-stars is now filled with ... nothing. It's a major life change.
Saban is now in the stage of his life where he's got to find things to do, things like hopping on the live broadcast of The American Express tournament to chat. Yes, that's a real thing that happened on Sunday, and it may have led to the sneaky best moment of the weekend at PGA West. Or at least the most unintentionally hilarious moment.
Naturally, the conversation revolved around Justin Thomas, who Saban is close with due to the Alabama connection. Thomas was preparing to hit his second shot into the par-5 11th at PGA West's Stadium Course while Saban was pumping him up. "Justin is a great person, great family," Saban said. "His dad mike is a great guy, I know he's been his teacher for a long time."
"He's a hard worker," Saban continued. "I know he's had to overcome some adversity last year, but he's done it like a trooper and I think he's going to have a great year this year."
Aaaaaand instant water ball. We call that the Saban Jinx.
Saban's had some great timing over the years, but that was an ill-timed prediction if we've ever heard one. Rather than being on in two and having a look at eagle or an easy birdie, Thomas made bogey on the par 5. He wound up losing out on a playoff by two shots.
Good news is, the Tide got the last laugh anyway, with amateur Nick Dunlap, a sophomore at Alabama, hanging on for the win. And to be fair, Saban could be very right about Thomas having a big year, as he's now finished T-12 in five consecutive starts after a brutal 2023. Even when Bama loses, they still win.