Justin Thomas reveals hilarious Michael Jordan story on The Late Show


Fresh off his appearance on season two of Netflix’s “Full Swing,” Justin Thomas paid a visit to the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York to chat with Late Show host Stephen Colbert.

But instead of focusing the conversation on Full Swing, or the Ryder Cup, Colbert wanted Thomas to talk about the first time he played golf with Michael Jordan.

Thomas’ story about the six-time NBA champion did not disappoint.

“He would always come to the Kentucky Derby, and I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. So he loves golf—he loved it then and still loves it now—and he wanted to play golf when he was in town. He had a friend who he played in the NBA with, Junior Bridgeman, who was friends with my Dad and put the connection together. So he would come out and play my Dad’s course.”

Bridgeman, of course, starred for the University of Louisville under legendary coach Danny Crum. He went on to play for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers and then served as president of the NBA Players’ Association in the late 1980s.

Later, he amassed tremendous wealth thanks to various business ventures. He also became a member of the PGA of America’s Board of Directors in 2008, the same year Louisville’s Valhalla Golf Club hosted the Ryder Cup. Valhalla will host the PGA Championship for a fourth time this May.

As such, both Bridgeman and Jordan had plenty of cash when they played with a young Thomas at his Dad’s course in Kentucky. They also liked to play money games on the course.

“[Jordan] would always call me little man, so he said to me, ‘Little man, go get your clubs you’re going to play the last seven holes with us,” Thomas said.

“He knew that I played golf, he didn’t know that I was decent, and nobody else had any idea. So [Jordan] said, ‘I’ll take little man and for whoever wants us.’ Of course, everyone is looking at this kid who is 111 pounds.”

Thomas then said he felt “enough pressure” playing with Jordan, but that did not stop him from making four birdies and seven holes.

“That helped me pay for my first car,” Thomas joked.

“I didn’t know the amount [we were playing for]. [Jordan] told everybody not to tell me how much because [I would freak out]. But I won probably three or four grand. It was a funny story.”

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.





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