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May 26, 2015

Justin Thomas


JOHN BUSH:テつ We'd like to welcome Justin Thomas into the Interview Room here at the AT&T Byron Nelson.テつ He's making his first start at this event and he comes into the week with three Top-12 finishes in his last four starts on Tour.
Justin, get things rolling.テつ If we can get some comments about your season up to this point.
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ Yeah, it's been a good season.テつ It's crazy how fast it's gone by.テつ We're already to the U.S. Open and being my first year I'm starting to adapt to that.テつ It's been good for me.
I feel like I've really learned a lot as the year has gone on.テつ I've kind of matured a little bit as a player and juster mentally I've just, each and every week, I try to take something out of it and I feel like I've done very well with that.
Obviously I've had some weeks I would love some better finishes but I definitely had a lot of experience to build from and hopefully will help me a lot going forward.
JOHN BUSH:テつ Nice little pairing this week with Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka.テつ Comment on that featured pairing.
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ I don't know who I made mad to get that pairing (laughter).テつ It's going to be a lot of the fun.テつ I never played a lot of golf with Brooks in amateur golf and obviously played pretty good amount with Jordan, you know, just messing around in practice rounds in college but never played with either one of them in a competitive round.
It's nice to play with some people you're comfortable with.テつ It will be nice and relaxing and hopefully we'll play in good golf out there.
JOHN BUSH:テつ Let's go into questions.

Q.テつ How crazy do you think those first two rounds are going to be, obviously Jordan will have a lot of support?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ It's going to be pretty wild.テつ I've never been here or played this event.テつ It's hard for me to really understand how the crowds will be but obviously I think it's going to be pretty, you know, weather-dependent.
It's pretty sloppy out there and it's going to be tough for spectators to get around and definitely going to be some people falling this week.テつ I'll be sure to watch out for that.テつ It will be fun and probably the most fun people I've played in front of it will be cool for me.

Q.テつ First off, how do you fare with the competition?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ It was fun.テつ Had a little skins game today, Jordan, Pat and I.テつ Yeah, it was fun and I got the better hand as usual on Jordan so (laughter) now that Pat has been out here a little bit been fun to play practice rounds with him.
He usually beats me pretty regularly at home when we play.テつ I'm not very good at playing when it's not a tournament.テつ We go out and play Bear's Club he beats me every time and takes my money.テつ It's really annoying.テつ We go on the Wedge Course I usually get him back.テつ It was nice to get in his pocket a little bit today as well.

Q.テつ How much easier has it gone and has it gone along this year?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ It's a lot easier.テつ That's just a part of it.テつ I think any sport, any profession, anything you do, the more you put yourself there the more you're going to be more comfortable.
It's kind of, I guess, how you become going good to great.テつ You have to be in those situations, you have to put yourself there, you have to learn how to handle it, you have to learn how your body reacts, your game reacts and I felt like I've about learned as much as I can in that aspect.
There's obviously different things I can learn but I feel like I've done the necessary things to at least understand how everything is now.

Q.テつ What's the one thing that impresses you the most about Jordan?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ I mean he's really consistent.テつ He seems to be in contention a lot when he plays and he putts really well obviously.テつ But, yeah, I think it's really hard to say this without sounding mean or anything like that but when you talk to people there's really nothing that crazy that stands out about his game when you play with him.
Like I said, it's not an insult by any means.テつ He just goes about his business and kind of does everything.テつ Nothing is unbelievable.テつ He'll get on some putting runs like he did the last couple months where he makes everything.
I feel like you go watch guys like DJ hit drivers, that's crazy, or you go see guys like Phil chip and people don't have that, the things that they have and Jordan is just very, very solid I think about everything.

Q.テつ Is Jordan hosting you here this week?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ Patrick and I both staying at his house.

Q.テつ What's he done for you so far, any restaurants or what have you guys been doing?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ What did we do?テつ Sunday -- he obviously was in it a little on Sunday and Patrick and I both got there as the golf was finishing so we just hung out, waited for them to get back.
His buddies came over.テつ We got some food at this place that I had been to actually here before and brought it back to the house and just ate.
Then last night I just actually went out with Patrick.テつ His buddy, Blaine, had a little graduation party.テつ Pat and I had plans previously but we did that.
It's been fun.テつ It's cool to all of us hang out and his buddies coming over.テつ He's got a golf simulator.テつ We've done a little bit of that.テつ Been a relaxing week.

Q.テつ What is it like to be now with Patrick out there to be kind of showing him the ropes?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ It's great.テつ I don't think we need to show him very much.テつ He's played in a lot of -- shouldn't say a lot.テつ He's played in his fair share of PGA TOUR events and he gets it out here.
He knows his game is really, really good and obviously the Wells Fargo was a great week for him and I think when he gets out here there may be little things that he can ask Jordan or I but not usually not too much.
It's crazy, we're talking about today, this is Jordan's fifth year playing in this.テつ It's wild to think about.テつ You know, there's little things here and there but I think -- like for a week, like this week this course is so different than how it usually plays that it's pretty much just what you see is what you get.

Q.テつ You talk about versatility in Jordan's game.テつ How would you turn that look around if you were scouting yourself, what stands out about your game?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ I'll let y'all be the judge of that.テつ I don't know.テつ I really don't know.テつ It obviously changes week to week and stuff like that and people talk about how far I hit it for my size but it's not that big a deal, I don't think.テつ There are plenty of guys that hit it farther than I do.テつ I really don't know, to be honest.

Q.テつ Are you similar, you feel like you got comparable versatility then I guess -- you do everything pretty well?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ It's hard to say that about yourself because you like to think you're really good at everything but you know there's areas of your game that need time to improve.テつ At the same time, I feel like -- when I look at myself I feel like it changes a lot week to week.
You know, like I feel I have weeks where I hit it really well or putt really well.テつ In the long scheme of things it's usually pretty similar over time.テつ It's hard for me to say.テつ I'm sure asking somebody else they could probably give you a little better answer than I do.

Q.テつ The back story of how you introduced Greller to Jordan is pretty well-known.テつ I wonder if you ever tease those guys and say maybe they owe you a finder's fee, either one of them?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ Yeah.テつ I'm missing him all the time especially since Jordan didn't tell me that Greller was going to caddy for him.テつ It's been cool to see him do so well but -- they're a great team.
It just gives me I guess before this year a little more reason to root for him last couple years because knowing Michael so well and know how well he means when he's out caddying.
He really loves it and it's pretty sweet how far -- obviously Jordan has done tremendous things but I think it's way cooler for Michael.テつ He was a school teacher and caddied in his first year of staying with me at Chambers.テつ That was five years ago and that was the coolest thing in the world for him.テつ That's a big stage.テつ But then you look at all the things he's done now and all the people he knows.テつ It's sweet.

Q.テつ What kind of benefit do you think Jordan might get out of that at the U.S. Open?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ Hopefully a lot because he shot about a million at the U.S. Amateur (laughter). テつI don't know.テつ You definitely need a lot of local knowledge but they changed it so I don't know how much they changed it.テつ I don't think it's a lot but, yeah, it should be helpful.

Q.テつ Jordan has given a junior clinic today, you're a keynote speaker later in the week.テつ Any of that kind of surreal for you guys?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ Probably not as much as it should be.テつ It's cool.テつ It's going to be really cool.テつ I remember, I think I forget who all was there when I went to it but it was sweet because we got to come out and watch these guys.テつ Actually where I met Scott Piercy this week who got to go walk 9 holes with somebody who is playing.テつ That's kind of the group that worked out.テつ Scott and his caddy, Darren, really talked to us a lot that day and I've been pretty close with both of them since.テつ It's cool.

Q.テつ At The Players your dad said that you're pretty hard -- that you didn't think you were having that good a year.テつ Are you hard on yourself and what did you give yourself as a grade?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ I definitely would say -- I don't think hard on myself is probably the right word to say.テつ I'm definitely maybe a little harsh but I think I just -- I just set high expectations.
I understand I feel like what I can achieve and what I should achieve not as much as I can.テつ Sometimes when it doesn't happen I get a little upset.テつ That's probably from being 22 and still young and maturing.
But I'd say I give myself probably a B, B minus this year.テつ I feel like I've played well and done some great things but there's still some good areas for improvement and feel like my results could get better.

Q.テつ Assuming your pranks that you and Jordan played on each other have gotten some attention, your college coach said you were always good about that, keeping the guys loose, do you have anything special planned for Jordan this week that we might see?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ If I do I'm not telling you guys.テつ He's going to find out (laughter).

Q.テつ Is that something we may see here or --
テつテつテつテつテつテつ JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ We'll see.

Q.テつ Are you getting impatient at all to get in the winner's circle, especially given how close you've come this year?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ Not at all.テつ I definitely would love to win but I learned last year it doesn't matter what level you're at, it's difficult to win.
It needs to be your week and it's something that you know there's a reason when guys win two, three times in a year, it's a great year and I understand that, you know, I could have already won two, three times this year but it wasn't my week and there are things that I didn't do correctly that kept me from doing so and I just -- I know from last year, if I just keep putting myself there, at some point eventually I would think it's going to happen.
You don't know if it's going to be this week or in Augusta or if it's going to be next year.テつ You just don't know.テつ All I can do is keep putting myself there and hopefully it becomes something that happens more often than not.

Q.テつ And going back to staying with Jordan this week, when you guys come back after a round, what is the main topic of conversation?テつ Is it talking about the course, is it talking about golf, is it watching LeBron?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ It's normal -- I think that's something that most guys do.テつ You just kind of kickback and it's really nice being in a house this week.テつ We can just sit on the couch and go play pool, we can go hang out in the simulator, watch a movie; anything that kind of keeps our mind off of golf and especially Patrick being there, too, he's a roommate, one of my roommates in Florida.
It's comfortable for us and we all get to hang out and we're actually Jordan, Patrick and I are staying in the house next week.テつ Maybe sick of each other in a couple weeks.
JOHN BUSH:テつ Got back to Tuscaloosa and see the coach and the guys.
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ I love going to Tuscaloosa.テつ It is a so much.テつ It was three weeks after school was out and nobody was there and it was still so much fun and just to get to go back to the places that you know that we would go out and the places that we would all go eat as a team.
We played I think a 6-some on one of the days and Coach Seawell played with us, Cory and Tom and hang out with Trey.テつ It was a lot of fun.テつ I think that truly speaks to how great my experience was at Alabama, that I really look forward to going back all the time.

Q.テつ How much more water can the course take and what do you expect conditions to be like and will that help you given the way you drive the ball?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ Yeah.テつ It's very, very wet.テつ I probably never seen a course that's drenched.テつ There's nothing that they can do about that at all.テつ It's out of their hands.
And hopefully the weather permits the rest of the week but, at the same time, you know, everyone is playing a level playing field.テつ Same thing.
I think I would say probably helps me a little bit because most of my distance is all carry.テつ I hit it pretty high so maybe able to hit it a little farther.テつ You hit soft greens and you just have to throw darts.
I kind of -- I think I might just need to get a little bit into the mind frame I had most of the time last year when you have to maybe be high teens and low 20s under par to win the tournament and hopefully just doesn't rain the rest of the week and not so much for the course but for the spectators, the Byron can have a great week.
JOHN BUSH:テつ Anything else?テつ All right.テつ Justin Thomas, thank you sir.
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ Thanks guys.

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