On a big day highlighting University of Alabama men’s golf success, former Crimson Tide star Justin Thomas made history in the United States Open at Erin Hills in Erin, Wisc. Thomas finished the third round of the prestigious tournament with a U.S. Open record 9-under-par 63, the lowest round vs. par in the tournament’s 117-year history.
Thomas finished his round with a short putt for an eagle 3 on the monster 670-yard par-5 finishing hole. Erin Hills is a par-72 course that measures 7,741 yards.
Thomas is 11-under-par 205 (73-69-63) heading into Sunday’s final round and tied for second.
Also, former Alabama golfer Trey Mullinax, playing in his first U.S. Open, is tied for 17th at 4-under-par. Two other former Tide players qualified for the tournament, but Dru Love missed by one stroke and Bud Cauley by two strokes making the cut.
Also on Saturday, Alabama senior-to-be Jonathan Hardee captured the 88th Southeastern Amateur championship at the Country Club of Columbus (Ga.). Hardee, who entered the final round of play two strokes back of the lead, finished the day at 5-under par 65 to close the event with a four-day total score of 18-under par 262 (65-66-66-65).
Hardee, who finished in 19th-place at last month’s NCAA Championships, claimed the victory by four strokes ahead of current Georgia Tech golfer and Columbus native James Clark (-14, 266).
“Winning this event means a lot to me,” Hardee said. “It’s huge for me to start the summer this way. This was the first time I played in this event and the first time I’ve won an amateur, so it super exciting and feels really good. For me to go out and win when it was the first time playing the course does a lot for my confidence and my career. It was great to continue the momentum I had from the NCAA Championships. Playing four rounds at the NCAAs helped me in this tournament because we don’t play a lot of four-round events in amateur golf.”
Hardee was one of two Alabama golfers to finish among the top-15 in the field, as rising senior Steven Setterstrom closed play in 15th with a 1-under par 279 (70-71-68-70). The Greer, S.C., native will look to continue his stellar play at next week’s North-South Amateur Championship, which will be held June 26-30 in Pinehurst, N.C.
Another former Alabama great, Robby Shelton, is currently leading the GolfBC Championship on the Canadian PGA Tour after three rounds. Shelton, who is in his first year as a professional, holds a three-stroke lead at 17-under par 196 (63-68-65) heading into Sunday’s fourth and final round.