124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2


U.S. Open 2023: Justin Thomas the 'lowest I've felt' after imploding for second-worst score of PGA Tour career

June 16, 2023

David Cannon

If you like watching carnage on the golf course, then this hasn't been the U.S. Open for you. Through two days at Los Angeles Country Club's North Course, there have only been two scores recorded in the 80s. Even more surprising? One of them belonged to Justin Thomas.

Since winning last year's PGA Championship, Thomas has been mired in a slump, which continuted with an opening 73 on the easiest Day 1 in U.S. Open history. But what happened on Friday was a shock to golf fans as Thomas shot a second-round 81 to finish ahead of only three players in the 156-man field.

Thomas' score was the second-worst of his PGA Tour career and he told reporters at LACC that it's the "lowest I've felt" after making seven bogeys, three double bogeys and two birdies. And if he's looking for any silver linings, that might be tough. Through two rounds he finished dead last in strokes gained/off-the-tee (more than a half shot worse than anyone else), 142nd in strokes gained/approach, and 140st in strokes gained/putting.

"It's all pretty sh---y when you shoot 14 over," he said.

Since winning the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills, Thomas has more missed cuts (five) than top 10s (four). The majors have been particularly tough with two missed cuts, a T-35, a T-53, and a T-65 in five starts.

Thomas is a 15-time PGA Tour winner, but only two of those victories have come since August of 2020. Those two wins, however, were big ones in the 2021 Players Championship and last year's PGA.

The former World No. 1 has fallen to No. 16 in the OWGR. And he entered this week at 78th in the FedEx Cup standings, meaning he has work to do just to get into the top 70 and qualify for the playoffs.

“I’ll figure it out,” he said. “I have another major left. If I go win the British Open, nobody even remembers that I’ve missed the cut by a zillion here, so I’ve just got to find a way to get better and learn from this, and if I can, I don’t have to look at this week as a total failure.”