Thomas saves weekend with borrowed putter from Fowler

Justin Thomas said his top putter and backup felt so bad in his hands he had to make a change. Enter Rickie Fowler.

Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler   -  (Getty Images)

May we all have friends like Rickie Fowler.

Justin Thomas looked nothing like a player worthy of second place in the world rankings in the opening round of the Wells Fargo Championship as he shot a two-over 73 and missed a host of putts.

Hoping to avoid a similar round on Friday, Thomas turned to his playing partner and close friend Fowler for assistance.

"I putted so terribly yesterday, so much that I changed putters. In fact, I used one of Rickie's putters today," Thomas said on Friday at Quail Hollow.

"It was that desperate in terms of how I was feeling about the putter."

The result? Thomas shot a two-under 69 to move to even for the tournament and sit well inside the cut line.

"J.T. asked me after his round [on Thursday] if I had any of my backups with me," Fowler said.

"I typically carry for sure one, if not two. One is an identical replica of what I use, and one that's slightly more rounded. That's was the one he ended up grabbing and liked it.

"I told him after he hit his first tee shot, 'Well, you're kind of stuck now.' It was good to see him roll it better. I thought he made some good strokes out there. We always try to help each other out."

Thomas said his top putter and backup felt so bad in his hands he had to make a change and, although it is unlikely the duo will play together over the weekend, Fowler will keep a close eye on the club.

"He only lives a few hundred yards down the street, so it won't be too far away. If he keeps making putts I may have to take it back," Fowler joked. "If he wants to keep using it he can keep using it. But he's stuck with having my name on the back of it."

Thomas, who won the US PGA Championship at this course last August, will move to the top of the world rankings with a solo 12th-place finish or better this weekend.