One of the most prestigious events in sports- the Masters Tournament- is underway at Augusta National Golf Club. Many a golf fan around the world has a competitor to whom they can offer their support. For most in Tuscaloosa, that man is Justin Thomas, the former Alabama national champion who remains a fan-favorite on the PGA Tour.

Thomas is coming off of a 2022 which saw him take home his second career major at Southern Hills, the PGA Championship. Naturally, he has high hopes to win his first green jacket. After the first round, Thomas is tied for 17th. He carded a 2-under 70.

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The 10th-ranked golfer in the world has every reason to believe he's going to contend going forward. Three are tied at the top of the leaderboard, including Spaniard Jon Rahm, a betting favorite who is a popular choice to win the whole thing. If history is any indication, though, Thomas cannot be counted out. He's five strokes back from the lead but was further back on the Sunday when he won the 2022 PGA Championship, and he raised his second Wanamaker Trophy that day. Furthermore, it's not Sunday. The former Alabama golfer has plenty of time to make up the necessary ground.

Thomas is ahead of another tournament favorite, Rory McIlroy, by two strokes. McIlroy is still seeking his first major since 2014. 2022 Masters champion Scottie Scheffler is tied for sixth. Others tied with Thomas include reigning British Open champion Cameron Smith and reigning U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick.

On Friday, Thomas will tee off at 12:18 p.m. central time. Hopefully, the weather forecast will turn out better than some expect.

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