Who is Thomas Detry? Meet the golfer surging to the top of U.S. Open leaderboard | Sporting News

Who is Thomas Detry? Meet the golfer surging to the top of U.S. Open leaderboard | Sporting News

The 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 has been causing plenty of golfers — including the world No. 1 — plenty of fits. One relative unknown golfer has bucked that trend.

Thomas Detry had a solid Day 1 at the 2024 U.S. Open, logging four birdies and three bogeys to finish the day 1 under. But he’s soared to the top of the leaderboard during the second round of the tournament. He birdied three straight holes from 11-13 and then picked up another three in the first, third and fifth holes on the front nine to vault himself up to the top of the leaderboard.

Fans would be forgiven for not knowing much about the 31-year-old golfer. He does not have a PGA Tour win to his name, and had not finished in the top 10 of a major until this year’s PGA Championship.

Sporting News is here to get you everything you need to know about Detry as he continues to ascend up the ranks at the U.S. Open.

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Who is Thomas Detry?

Detry is a 31-year-old golfer on the PGA Tour. He came into the 2024 U.S. Open ranked as the No. 55 golfer in the world.

Where is Thomas Detry from?

Detry was born in Brussels, Belgium, on Jan. 13, 1993, per his website. He began golfing at the age of 5, but also participated in other sports like tennis and field hockey.

However, around the age of 11 or 12, he began to hone in on golf as his primary sport. Detry found success at a young age, winning the Dutch Junior Open at age 16 and helping lead Belgium to the 2010 European Boys’ Team Championship. He represented his country several times on the international stage, including in the Eisenhower Trophy, European Amateur Team Championship, Palmer Cup and the Junior Ryder Cup.

Where did Thomas Detry go to college?

Detry went to Illinois for college, starting in the 2012-13 season, where he learned from coach Mike Small.

Detry found plenty of success at the collegiate level. He was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2012-13, then picked up a win and five top 10 finishes as a sophomore the following season. 

In his junior year, Detry set the program single-season stroke record by putting up a 70.76 stroke average during the season. He finished third overall at the 2015 NCAA Championships. He earned a number of accolades from the year, being named 2015 Big Ten Golfer of the Year, Les Bolstad Award Winner and earning a spot on the Ben Hogan Award watch list.

His senior year saw Detry finish as a Big Ten medalist and finish tied for 10th in the NCAA Championships. He won the Big Ten Championship, which vaulted him up to fifth among amateurs in the world. 

Thomas Detry pro golf career

Detry turned pro in June 2016 following the conclusion of his four years with the Fighting Illini. He began by competing largely on the Challenge Tour, claiming his first win at the 2016 Bridgestone Challenge. The win made Challenge Tour history as Detry won the event by 12 shots.

He finished his first pro season ranked 15th on the Challenge Tour, and by 2017, he was already lined up to move up to the European Tour. His debut on the European Tour was the Alfred Dunhill Championship, where he placed third.

Detry and fellow countryman Thomas Pieters were selected to represent Belgium in the 2018 World Cup of Golf, and the two became world champions with their victory in the Melbourne, Australia, event with a combined score of 23 under, just edging out Australia’s Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith (-20) and Mexico’s Abraham Ancer and Roberto Diaz (-20).

Detry made his PGA Tour debut in the 2018-19 season when he finished tied for 33rd in the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. Each year, he continued to progress further with the PGA Tour. He made four cuts in seven events in the 2020-21 season with a top 25 finish, which included placing tied for 49th in the 2020 U.S. Open.

He participated in three majors in 2021, but did not make the cut in any of them. He progressed the most in the Open Championship, tied for 34th in 2022 and tied for 13th in 2023, the same year he tied for 40th in the PGA Championship.

Detry turned in perhaps his strongest PGA Tour effort in the 2024 PGA Championship. He went 5 under in the first round, 4 under in the second, 1 under in the third and 5 under in the fourth that saw him go 15 under overall and tie for fourth in the event. He earned a solid payday of $814,000 for the fourth-place finish.

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