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May 16, 2015

Justin Thomas


Q.  You go out in 30, I think, great start.  Two eagles on your opening 9.  Cool off a bit, 35 on the back.  What was the difference between the two 9s?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  Yeah.  Two eagles helps.  Doesn't matter what part it's on.  I really played well.  I got a little rhythm out there and made some good putts and yeah, you know, I played fine on the back.  I hit some really good putts.  Hit some good putts on 14 and 16 that I just misread and had the wrong spots and obviously 18 was pretty terrible.
Yeah.  I mean I'm very pleased with my round.  Upset with my finish but I'm good.

Q.  When you finish your front 9 of 30, did the sub-60 round bounce around at all?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  I would be lying if I said it didn't.  I was rolling pretty good.  I felt like all week really, really go low out here especially I can kind of cut some of these doglegs and take the holes on, par-5s I can reach.  I thought about it a little bit, especially after the birdie on 10.  That's probably why I bogeyed 11.  But just trying to stick to every shot.

Q.  Did you get any inspiration at all from your friend/housemate Patrick Rodgers, who started the day two off the lead?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  I went to dinner with him last night.  Usually hang out.  Been awhile since we've been able to.  Yeah.  Didn't really like seeing him kicking my butt like that so I was trying to get back up there so, you know, hopefully he plays well but somehow we end up playing together tomorrow that would be pretty cool.

Q.  A city that's known for speed, got off to it, 6-under through 7.  Two eagles.  Talk about your round today.
JUSTIN THOMAS:  It was great.  I just really, just in a good mood to kind of start the day.  Got a lot of sleep last night after the 4:30 wake-up yesterday.
Really just trying to kind of free-wheel it.  Go out there and stay patient and fire.  I know usually the setup is a little easier on Saturday.  I just kind of got after it and made some putts and nice to get off to the start.

Q.  Is there a point in the round where you felt you could really go low out there?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  Anytime you're 6-under after 7 you're saying that, especially on a course that's as difficult like this.  If I birdie the holes I should or little easier than the others, just kind of played smart on the other ones I could really play well.

Q.  How was the golf course playing out there?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  It was great.  Perfect.  The greens are so good.  They're firming up a little bit to where you have to -- you can make it from anywhere.  You really have to be in the right place because you get some tricky, breaking putts.

Q.  Justin, when you got it going did you ever glance at the leaderboard and start looking at where you are or too earlier?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  I did a little bit.  It's kinds of hard not to look at them, they're everywhere and massive.  It's pretty hard not to miss out on them.
Like last week, I played so early no one really started.  I couldn't do anything but really move up.  It was good to see my name up there.

Q.  Talk about the front-9 the way things you got started and then obviously helped boost the round today.
JUSTIN THOMAS:  Yeah.  I hit it in there close on 2 and 3 was huge.  I didn't hit a very good tee shot but it wasn't any reason to be making bogey, and I hit a bad shot and bad chip and made about a 20-footer for par.
That really gave me momentum -- more momentum than any of my birdies or eagles.  Kind of kept it rolling and made some putts.  It was huge.

Q.  Your chip on 15, got you going into the Green Mile to get one more birdie before entering that tough three hole stretch.
JUSTIN THOMAS:  Especially after the two shots.  I knew if I really bombed one down there I could get a mid-iron in there especially anything being able to hit it up into the air into the green is huge.
Yeah.  I mean I played 16, 17 and one shot of 18 really well.  So, it was unfortunate to finish like that but I played the hole well.

Q.  6-under on the par-5s.
JUSTIN THOMAS:  I made a bunker shot so that helped on 5 and yeah, I hit a good drive down there on 7.  Just a little 5-iron in and hit it in the perfect place.  Had about 25, 30-footer, made that.  The other two were pretty low stress birdies.
Trying to take advantage of my length.  This course doesn't yield a lot of birdies so I really take advantage of the holes I can.

Q.  You've been in these positions before.  How confident are you?  You've been -- had several Top-10s.
JUSTIN THOMAS:  Yeah, I'm confident.  I'm a little, I don't really know what word to use but I'm really excited, hopefully have little better finishes than I've had.
I've had some great chances but I also understand that kind of comes with it.  Just my first year although I didn't just come out here my first year to get a bunch of Top-10s, I came out here to win, felt like I put myself in good places but I really, really learned a lot.
Last week was huge.  It was by far the biggest atmosphere and the biggest pressure I've played under.  I'm excited.

Q.  How much time have you and Patrick spent together this week?  You guys talk last night about the position he's in?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  Not too much.  I was -- I think we were kind of having a normal dinner, not really talking too much.  We were kind talking if it was going to be 2 or 3-somes.  3-somes would have played with Rory.  That would have been cool.
We've been hanging out all week.  We played practice rounds, like we usually would.  Went to dinner a couple times.  I've had a couple things this week and I think he has, too, to where it kept us from probably going every night together.  I'm sure we will tonight as well.  It's been fun and good hanging out with him.

Q.  Rory and the fact that he and Rickie Fowler got their first win at this tournament, what would it mean to you to get that first win and continue that legacy?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  It would be great.  In all due respect, I don't really care what event I win, I just would like to win.  Especially with the names that have won here in the past, it would be a great honor but there's a lot of golf for those leaders to play left today and 18 holes tomorrow.

Q.  What was your biggest take away from last Sunday?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  I think just kind of slowdown and patience.  I knew the patience part already but it was just a really difficult course and it was a really tough set-up.  Tough to make birdies.
And I mean I was right there.  I definitely played well enough to win that tournament and without a doubt on Sunday.  I didn't make any putts and obviously didn't finish very well but I mean I just really took out of it that I feel like I can win at the highest stage.
That was one of the highest stages, tournaments we'll play all year and felt like some shots go my way on Sunday I could have won the tournament.

Q.  A bit of a unique feature of this course are the Servicemen on a hole.  What do you think about that?
JUSTIN THOMAS:  It's awesome.  Maybe one hole or so a week we did that.  Anytime we can thank anyone that served four country it's pretty cool.  It definitely gives you a shot of reality walking off that green.
It's honestly, it's good for me because I'll get a little angry sometimes and I'm shaking his hand.  This guy gone through a lot more than just a 3-putt bogey or something like that.  I think it's good and it's really cool for the tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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