Nick Saban surprises Justin Thomas by actually answering congratulatory phone call after Alabama win

January 11, 2018

Add another line to Justin Thomas’s resume: when he calls, Nick Saban answers.

The two University of Alabama icons had already shared a championship chat after Saban reached out in the wake of Thomas’s August PGA Championship victory. But when Thomas returned the favor after the Crimson Tide pulled off a comeback thriller in Monday’s National Championship game, he wasn’t actually expecting Saban to answer.

“I called him expecting to leave him a voicemail and I think he caught me by surprise more than I ever have when he actually answered,” Thomas told the Paul Finebaum Show on Wednesday. “It was good to just briefly talk to him; it’s always fun to tell people congrats in person versus over a text or anything like that.”

Thomas and former Tide teammate Tom Lovelady watched the first half of the game from a Honolulu bar on Monday, but nerves prompted a second-half return to their hotel room, where they watched Saban claim his sixth career title (fifth with Alabama) in a 26-23 overtime nail biter.

Thomas didn’t reveal specifics about the call, but hopefully he told Saban “thank you,” too — the Tide victory won his bet with Georgia alum Kevin Kisner. As loser, Kisner will have to wear a personalized Alabama “Kisner” jersey as he plays the 17th hole during the opening round of this week’s Sony Open.

The worst part for Kisner? Thomas will be in his group.