Nick Saban did not coach him on the football field, but he treats Justin Thomas like one of his players.
The University of Alabama alum turned professional as a golfer in 2013.
He has won several events, including the PGA Tour in 2017. Thomas is a two-time PGA Player of the Year (2017, 2020) and PGA Tour Player of the Year in 2017. He earned a top-five finish at the 2020 Master’s Tournament (No. 4) and finished top-10 at the 2020 U.S. Open (No. 8). He won the Players Championship event for 2021, and he looks to defend his crown.
Thomas is competitive, but he’s gleaned some of it from Coach Saban over the years. The PGA Tour captured a video on Tuesday of the two golfing. Saban made some shots, but he also hilariously had balls go into the water.
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Saban knows a lot about defending national titles.
He won back-to-back-titles with the Crimson Tide in 2011 and 2012. Saban also knows the pressures that come after winning a championship. He shared the biggest message with Thomas that he gives his players each season after winning a national title.
“I give him the same speech I give our team when we win the national championship,” Saban said about Thomas. “Everybody says you gotta defend. There is so such thing as defending a title, in my opinion, because they don’t take it away from you. You know, if they took it away from me, it would be different. But you are always going to be a Player’s Champion, and you are going to have a special place in the locker room. So go have fun and win it again.”
Saban is not a big texter, but Thomas said the 70-year-old lets him know he watching him.
“I know things are either really good or really bad if I’m getting a text from Coach Saban,” Thomas said. “So it’s either like a, “Hey man, I saw you really haven’t been playing well, just want you to know I’m here for you. Or “I was watching you last week and I’m proud of you.”
As Thomas continues his incredible career, Saban eyes a return to the College Football Playoff National Championship stage.
He begins spring practice on Friday in Tuscaloosa, but it’s great to see Saban having fun on the golf course.
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