Justin Thomas broke out fishing pole and reeled in golf ball during 2021 US Open

Two-time major-winner Justin Thomas returns to the Country Club this week hoping to reel in his first U.S. Open, but it's not the first time he's gone fishing of late.

Having already claimed the PGA Championship last month, Thomas comes to the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts with more major silverware on the line. That makes a change from last year's U.S. Open when the 29-year-old broke out his rod in a more literal sense.

Thomas was some six strokes off the leader's pace early on during the third day at Torrey Pines in San Diego, California, when he slightly over-egged his chip from the bunker. Spotting his shot on the 8th green would require some significant backspin to make the hole, he fashioned his club into a makeshift 'rod' and pretended to wind it back.

If the shot itself didn't embarrass Thomas, his unfortunately timed stumble at the edge of the bunker might have done the trick. With millions of golf fans watching from their homes, the nine-year pro can be seen briefly flailing his arms in a bid to avoid falling into the sand.

“He’s reeling it in," exclaimed NBC commentator Dan Hicks after spotting Thomas' tongue-in-cheek attempt to wind the ball back. "He's got a fishing pole in his hands, and he is reeling that baby back!"

Following a few theatrical yanks of his 'pole', Thomas ultimately tapped in from short range for a fairly routine par. He went on to meet the 71-par for the round and finished two over par overall, which was sufficient for a share of 19th place.

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Thomas could afford to feel disappointed with that result considering he'd finished a career best joint-eighth at the U.S. Open one year prior. He's looked anything but a fish out of water thus far at this year's majors, tying for eighth at the Masters before winning his second PGA crown.

There are sure to be more nibbles in Massachusetts, where fans will be treated to a replenished field following the rift caused by the emergence of the LIV Golf Invitational Series. A number of stars have been suspended by the PGA for joining the rival competition, but those banned players have been cleared to compete at Brookline this weekend.

Thomas has admitted the split among golf's major names has left him "a little sad," though he's defended players having the right to choose where they play. There are sure to be some big fish back among the field seeking out U.S. Open gold in Massachusetts, though pro angler Thomas will hope his rod isn't required on this occasion.

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