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NORTHERN TRUST OPEN


February 20, 2015


Justin Thomas


PACIFIC PALISADES, CALIFORNIA

Q.¬† The front nine‑‑
JUSTIN THOMAS:¬† Yeah, definitely.¬† I felt like they were more than the birdie putts.¬† In reality it's still one shot but those were some scorable holes, too.¬† I felt like I had some clubs where I could have been making birdies or I could have been a little more attack mode.¬† But just was some bad iron shots and ball‑striking; to leave it in the spots I did and get up‑and‑down for par was huge.

Q.  Even on the good iron shots, we've been hearing it's hard to get it close.
JUSTIN THOMAS:¬† It is.¬† It's just a tough golf course.¬† I've only played one major but from my experience and from what I've heard from others, this is very U.S. Open‑like, I would say.¬† It's very firm, and being in the fairway is such a huge premium, and all the spin you can get on it is really important.
There are good pins and the greens are small and severe, so you need to be precise with what you're doing with your ball.

Q.¬† You've played enough with these guys before you got on the TOUR.¬† Playing week‑after‑week, is it what you expected?¬† Are you having a good time as much as working hard to win?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  Yeah, I'm having a blast.  It's hard to say, the situations I've put myself in isn't fun.
Obviously I wish the outcomes were a lot different but that I think is a part of the process and I've learned from them.  It's been a lot of fun but I'm just trying to take each day and each week as a learning experience, along with trying to get in contention to win the tournament.

Q.¬† What do you take from ‑‑
JUSTIN THOMAS:¬† I think a lot more positive than negative.¬† I mean, it's just one day, one shot that kept it from being a really, really positive week.¬† But it was really cool being here.¬† I mean, the guys on the practice green are probably getting annoyed because I kept talking about everything and every shot.¬† I love this place.¬† It's really awesome.¬† It's an unbelievable track.¬† I think it speaks for itself with the scores. ¬†What, 6‑under leading yesterday‑‑

Q.  Did you play here when they did the NCAAs?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  Yeah, my freshman year.

Q.  How did you do?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  We lost in the finals.

Q.  How about individually?
JUSTIN THOMAS:¬† I played well.¬† I think I finished Top‑10.¬† But I loved the course as soon as I got here, so a lot of good memories what I came back.

Q.  So playing now, you know what you see when you get here?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  It's a little different condition and a little different circumstances now, but it's still a tournament and you're still trying to win.  Being end of May, early June, it's a little different then.  But it's a little different winds and stuff like that.  It's still Riv.

Q.  What did you hit for your second on 1?
JUSTIN THOMAS:¬† 5‑iron, 232.

Q.  How long was your putt?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  Seven, eight feet.

Q.¬† It's like a must‑birdie hole.
JUSTIN THOMAS:¬† It is.¬† It's essentially a par 4.¬† I hit 2‑iron off the tee today.¬† Usually a little downwind, so it's less than driver.¬† Just got to get something in the fairway and try to get your 4 before you head to a hole like No.2.

Q.  Where you made birdie?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  Yeah, I did.

Q.  Are you embarrassed about this?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  No, I just talked it up like it was a little tougher hole.  Yeah, that was probably the best hole I played all day.

Q.  What did you hit, wedge?
JUSTIN THOMAS:¬† No, I hit a 7‑iron, Doug (laughing).

Q.¬† You mentioned your surprise at your strength and length for a guy your size.¬† Is this agility‑‑ Chi Chi Rodr√≠guez, going way back, was small, 5'8 and hit the ball miles, relatively.¬† Today, different clubs.¬† Were you always a long hitter or did you develop it?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  Not always.  I think the end of my high school career, I started hitting it a little farther.  I think it's just I make the most of what I have, and I'm just kind of efficient with my body weight and how I use it.  Somehow it goes far.
I think that's what it is.¬† I just kind of use my‑‑ off the ground well and I just kind of hit up on it and hit it solid for the most part, and I guess it just happens.

Q.  Does Spieth get on your case a little bit because of that?
JUSTIN THOMAS:¬† Not really, no.¬† I don't think‑‑ he gets on me for other stuff that's a little more embarrassing or stuff that's going to get at me a little bit more than that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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