One-sided rivalry
September 17, 2020

U.S. Open 2020: Justin Thomas' head-to-head record against Tiger Woods is amazingly lopsided

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Gregory Shamus

Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods walked at Winged Foot Golf Club during the first round of the 2020 U.S. Open.

Justin Thomas got Tiger Woods … again.

In the big picture, Thomas trying to win a second career major at this week’s U.S Open is, of course. more important, and he is off to a terrific start after a five-under 65 to grab the early lead at Winged Foot.

But a fun and interesting subplot within the context of Thursday’s round? That Thomas outplayed the 44-year-old 15-time major champion once more after Woods stumbled to a 73.

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Just how big of a disparity is there between the two when they’ve played together?

Since Thomas turned pro in 2015, he and Woods have played in the same tournament on just 41 occasions. Yet, the two have been paired a staggering 19 times during that span.

Most surprising? That Thomas now holds a 13-3-3 advantage in the rounds they’ve played side-by-side after leaving Woods in his wake in the opening round. Amazingly, Thomas didn't lose to Tiger in the first 14 rounds they played against each other. The last time Tiger beat Thomas was the first round of the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park (68 to 71) in August.

Not that Woods didn’t have his chances on Thursday. The opening round at Winged Foot marked just the third time in 22 U.S. Opens for Woods that he made at least five birdies in a round. But he also made six bogeys and a double after flubbing a chip shot on the par-4 18th.

Chalk it up to missing fairways, among other miscues.

Thomas? His iron play was fantastic and he made just one bogey. The 65 was also his second-best score in 17 career rounds at the U.S. Open (trailing only the 63 he shot at Erin Hills in 2017), and a round that no one else in the morning was able to match, either.

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