Jeremy Freeborns PGA Report

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Move over Justin Bieber, you have company. You are no longer the hottest entertainer in North America named Justin. That title now folks officially belongs to golfer Justin Thomas who went through the state of Hawaii and shot every golf ball with spectacular ease.

After winning the SBS Tournament of Champions in Kapalua on January 8, where Thomas shot 22-under par, he was even better at the Sony Open in Honolulu this past weekend. Thomas’s score of 253 was the lowest four round score in PGA Tour History, breaking the 254 set by Tommy Armour III at the Valero Texas Open in 2003.

Thomas also dominated the field in Honolulu. He beat his nearest competitor, reigning Olympic gold medalist and former U.S. Open champion Justin Rose of Great Britain by a converted touchdown. Ok. Wrong sport. I am just excited about the AFC and NFC Championship this weekend. You get the drift. It was seven strokes.

This weekend Thomas will not be competing at the CareerBuilder Challenge in Palm Desert, California. Previously known as the Bob Hope Classic and the Humana Challenge, the course is located in one of the most beautiful regions in the United States.

The defending champion is former PGA Champion Jason Dufner of Cleveland, Ohio. Dufner shot -25 over four rounds a year ago to beat David Lingmerth of Sweden in a playoff. Lingmerth is best known for winning the 2015 Memorial Tournament in a playoff over Rose.

Another two players to watch out for this week are Bill Haas of Charlotte, North Carolina and Phil Mickelson of San Diego, California. Haas and Mickelson have won this event twice each. Haas won in 2010 and 2015, and Mickelson won in 2002 and 2004.

Canadian golf fans should remember 2003 well. Prior to winning the Masters, Sarnia’s Mike Weir won the 2003 Bob Hope Classic by two strokes over Jay Haas, who happens to be Bill Haas’s father. This week Canadian golfers will be represented by Adam Hadwin, David Hearn, Nick Taylor and Graham DeLaet.

Remember this tournament is back to 72 holes. Prior to 2012, this tournament was a five day event that was 90 holes.

Don’t expect to see Donald Trump in southern California this weekend. Not only because he has his inauguration on Friday, but because the CareerBuilder Challenge is in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.

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