Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
Alabama alum Justin Thomas reacts to his shot on the eighth hole during the second round of the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills on Friday in Hartford, Wis.

Alabama golf: Justin Thomas makes U.S. Open history; Robby Shelton wins in Canada

Welcome to The Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap. Today, we look at an historic weekend for Alabama golf alumni. 

Alabama alumnus Justin Thomas had the best day ever at the U.S. Open — one day too early.

Thomas started the tournament a little slow, ending the first day at 1-over 73 but warmed up on Friday to card a nice 3-under 69. At 2-under, he cruised through the cut, but needed an incredible performance on Saturday to be in contention on Sunday.

So, he went out and shot a 9-under 63, tying Johnny Miller’s record score at Oakmont in 1973 and recording the lowest round to par in U.S. Open history. While Erin Hills played well below par, Thomas earned his score, drilling his 3-wood from the fairways in his signature style, hitting one of the best putts I’ve ever seen, and closing the round with an eagle on the par-5 18th.

Justin Thomas Eagle On No. 18

Justin Thomas is in the history books! His 9-under 63 has set the #USOpen record for the lowest score in relation to par.

Posted by U.S. Open Championship on Saturday, June 17, 2017

Despite all that, Thomas wasn’t the leader in the house, starting the final day in the final group in second place. He would have needed to play the final round at 6-under par — no small task for a first-time major contender in blustery conditions at the Open. Instead, Thomas wasted many of his best opportunities by playing out of the rough, unable to target greens as aggressively. He finished the tournament with a 3-over round, bringing his final score to 8-under, tied for ninth.

It was the best major finish in his career, a lucrative day and the latest entry in a storied history for Alabama golf.

ICYMI

Built by Bama

• Thomas wasn’t the only Alabama golfer with a strong performance on the weekend. Trey Mullinax, Thomas’s collegiate teammate, made his professional debut at the U.S. Open and did well, tying Thomas for ninth and earning an exemption into the 2018 U.S. Open. 

• Robby Shelton, who turned professional in 2016, has been playing on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada in pursuit of his full PGA Tour card. He went wire to wire at the GolfBC Championship and is now on the fast track to qualify for the Web.com Tour.

• On the ladies’ side, Emma Talley finished tied for fifth at the Decatur-Forsyth Classic, 8-under par for the weekend.

Around the Capstone

• And on the still-amateur side, Jonathan Hardee finished the Southeastern Amateur at 18-under, playing under par the whole way to claim the tournament title.

• Coach Brad Bohannon canceled the baseball team’s summer camps.

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