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February 3, 2015

Justin Thomas


ALEX URBAN: We would like to welcome Justin Thomas to the interview room. Rookie on the PGA TOUR. You have five Top-25s in your first eight starts in season of the coming off an T-17 finish last week at Waste Management Phoenix Open. Talk about the beginning of your season and starting your career on PGA TOUR and how it's been so successful.

JUSTIN THOMAS: It's been good. The first eight events have gone by really fast already, but it's, I feel like I've gotten been on every end of the spectrum from playing really good to really bad. I've been on a run. I have a lot of confidence, I just have a little different mind frame I think going into the tournaments as I did in the fall events. I'm just enjoying it.

ALEX URBAN: Great. Is there any aspect about being on the PGA TOUR that is different? You seem to be adapting pretty well, compared to some other rookies.

JUSTIN THOMAS: It's not too different. I think just the golf courses themselves they're obviously a little harder and you're going to get some pins three from the edges, as opposed to five from the edge, something like that, that I dealt with last year. But it's still golf and it's still the fewest amount of shots on Sunday wins, so I'm just focused on playing as well as I can and just trying to stay patient and enjoy every week.

ALEX URBAN: Open it up for questions.

Q. What do you think about your makeup and also your experience contributing to what you've done so far this year? What do you think are the contributing factors to being able to go out and do what you've done?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I think a lot of it was confidence. I'm going into events expecting to be in contention and wanting to be in contention and I think a lot of it also is just preparation and I just put a lot of work into my game the last half a year or even last year, but I just really tried to take each event individually and focus on the main things that can I do well for that week. A place like Humana you need to make a lot of birdies and take advantage of opportunities and a place like last week, it was kind of like that, but then once the weather came in, it was, you had to kind of attack it a little differently and get in a place like this where you can make a lot of pars and you're doing pretty well. So it's just the preparation and getting ready for the week at hand and knowing what I need to prepare at. But I think that it all in the end comes down to just I have a lot more confidence when I'm out on the course going into each event.

Q. Did you have a match today?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yes, we did.

Q. Outcome?
JUSTIN THOMAS: We won again.

Q. Is length or power, how much of it is taught and how much of it is natural?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I really don't know. It makes no sense why I hit it as far as I do with my size and my height and everything, it really doesn't. That's what I focus on in my workouts and my stretches to get the most possible out of my body frame and at 148 whatever pounds I am, to hit it as far as I can for my weight. I guess that I'm efficient with the, with what I have. And swinging hard doesn't hurt either.

Q. So what's the answer?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Luck. I don't know. I guess I just -- I think it's honestly, it's just making the most of what I have and once -- I don't really remember like the official year or the defining kind of couple month stretch or year stretch where I really, really got longer of the I feel like it was kind of my maybe my junior, senior year of high school, because I really hit it nowhere for awhile, just like as you would expect if you looked at me. Probably people think I hit it pretty short. But I had a year where I started hitting is a lot farther. The last couple years, I think it's more a change in technique and just kind of how I attack the ball. I just think that the last couple years mostly it's been like my attacking the ball, hitting down on it, like, let's say, at the beginning of my college career, and now I hit up on it a pretty decent amount. That's, I've come to learn it makes a pretty big difference when it comes to distance and accuracy as well.

Q. What have you learned the last three Sundays that will help you break through finally?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Patience, I think. Also, I feel like I've played well enough to win and it happened to me last year as well. I was fortunate where I played well enough to get myself in contention a pretty good amount of times and it took me awhile to get it done. Everyone kept asking me when are you going to win? And I said, I'm trying, I wasn't trying to finish whatever I was. It's tough to win. It doesn't matter what level you're at. If I go play some college events right now I would have a hard time winning. I think that it's just being patient and just letting whatever's going to happen, happen. Just, more importantly, it's, I keep getting myself in those positions, that the odds of it, I think, happening and becoming a reality are a little better.

Q. Can you talk about just kind of the newness of each event coming to a different place. You were out there today talking about it. Is this the place where a guy fell off the cliff or is, is it every week kind of a new adventure when you're out here?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it is. I've been fortunate to where I've played especially these West Coast events I have played some of the courses, so, coming into a week, especially like this week, I knew the course and it wasn't completely new for me, so the practice rounds were more kind of refreshing as opposed to seeing something new for the first time. But it is. It's pretty cool. We get to do it out here all of us every week. We get to go to some awesome places, San Diego is probably my favorite city in the world and how can it not be with weather like this they have about every day of the year. Every week has its advantages and positives, and I just try to enjoy each and every week for what it's worth.

Q. You have the cool story here last year of standing on the range, right, at El Camino Country Club, you think you're going to Monday qualify, going from that position of getting that phone call to finishing T-9, I mean, what did you come away with that? What are your memories from the tournament last year and did the result kind of blow your mind or what?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It didn't blow my mind, but it was obviously crazy to be where I was Sunday and where I was Monday in the morning. I remember I think I just, because my dad was caddieing for me and I think he like dropped me off or something and I just went out to like to the putting green and he was walking in and when I was walking like through the clubhouse or whatever it was that's when Mr. Ripa called me and I remember I was walking out and he was walking in and we were going back to the car and we're like, we don't have to do this. So it was crazy. With the way the week unfolded, I think that was a big week for me, because it was my first true time being in contention. I was in a little bit when I was an amateur at the Travelers, I was like four back going into Sunday, though, and I was two back in this tournament last year with eight holes to go. And had a very legitimate chance to win. Obviously didn't finish how I wanted to, but it was, for me I feel like it was a good starting point for me and it just like I was kind of saying earlier, it gave me a lot of confidence and I felt like I could compete because I drove it all over the world last year at this tournament. I couldn't hit it on the golf course. At a place like this, to not have your best stuff and finish 10th with a field like this, it was just really kind of reassuring to myself.

Q. Do you feel like you can handle the positions you are in on Sunday last year, do you feel like you will be a different person handling it this time?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I think. So I've been in the situation more times and the more you're in it, the more comfortable you're going to be. I was pretty nervous last year when I looked up on the leaderboard and especially not, I mean, I guess it was before the WEB.COM season and if I have a crazy finish, my season could be completely changed. So, obviously some different things are going through your head. But now I just would, especially on a course like this, you can attack being two back. I could make one birdie and I could win the tournament. As opposed to thinking I had to make three or four last year. But I think I will definitely handle it better, hopefully finish a little bit better. But at the end of the day it's still a tough golf course and you have to a lot of good shots to do well out here.

ALEX URBAN: All right. Thanks, everyone. Thanks Justin, good luck.
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