GOSHEN, KENTUCKY (WAVE) - The first ball is clearly marked, 6-14-01, nearly 16 years ago. It was the date of Justin Thomas' first win. The then seven-year-old won the 12 and under division that day at Sun Valley. It started a collection that has now reached 130.
Mike Thomas is the head professional at Harmony Landing Country Club in Oldham County, and the father of PGA tour star Justin Thomas.
He takes the ball and writes the final score and date each time his son wins a tournament.
"He's had 130 wins, I took him to all those, now I didn't see two of them," Jani Thomas, Justin's mom, says.
She and Mike missed Justin's first two PGA wins. They both came in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.
"He won twice in Malaysia and we were up at 3:30 in the morning, along with the rest of Louisville, I think watching," Mike said. "So not getting to see those two wins, and it's hard to win on the PGA tour, the chances of you being there when that happens, if it ever happens."
First on January 8 in Maui. Justin delivered a dagger on the par 4 17th hole, a 226 yard second shot that effectively ended the proceedings.
"We've seen him so many times do that, that he needs to hit a great shot and he does," Jani said.
Mike chimed in, "He just has knack for doing that kind of stuff."
Justin won the SBS Tournament of Champions, and mom and dad were waiting for hugs when he walked off the green. "I had no idea how I'd feel because we hadn't been through that before and naturally I just got so overwhelmed with emotions," Jani recalls.
She wouldn't have to wait long to experience the feeling again.
Four days later, Justin became just the 7th player on the PGA Tour to shoot a 59. He did it in the opening round of the Sony Open in Honolulu.
" Yeah, it is cool," Mike said. "I guess I just look at it more as a process, that we're trying to get better, we're trying to execute this, we're trying to do that. I guess maybe it just hasn't hit me, I mean obviously I was excited about it and everything."
That was just the start of an amazing weekend. Justin went on to set the PGA record for lowest 36 hole score (123), tie the record for 54 holes (188), and his final score of 253 was a first on the PGA Tour for 72 holes. He finished up at -27, seven shots better than second place Justin Rose, who by the way, won gold in the Rio Olympics last summer.
"It's really getting to see them realize their dreams is the bigger thing than breaking a record or anything, any parent is thrilled to see their child get to realize their dream, because not many people get to," Mike said.
Justin is back in Florida, he took delivery of a brand new, Range Rover. The SUV was his treat for winning the first time this season. Mom and dad are back at work.
Mike and Justin are teaming up to host the Justin Thomas Junior Championship presented by PHOCUS in April. It is an American Junior Golf Association event at Harmony Landing Country Club.
That gives Mike a few months to get a display case for his latest golf ball collection, Justin's record breakers from last weekend.
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