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July 10, 2015

Justin Thomas


THE MODERATOR: Justin Thomas, welcome back. Thanks for joining us for a few minutes. 4-under, 67 for the John Deere Classic today. The most important question is are you wearing dirty green socks today?

JUSTIN THOMAS: I went with standard white socks today.

THE MODERATOR: Standard white socks. All right. Well they were effective. Congratulations on the 4-under today. Just a few comments on that.

JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I played well. Got off to a nice start. That made everything a little bit easier. Just kind of took advantage of opportunities I had with like 1 and 2 and then again on 6. Kind of tried to bunch up 3, 4, and 5 a little bit, but hung in there with good pars. I played really well today. I missed some putts, but I hit some really good putts and they just kind of bounced offline a little bit. The greens are soft. Everyone has to deal with it. They get a little bit spiked up. That's just golf. It happens every week. I would've liked to get a little bit more on the back nine, but I'm pleased with the birdie on 17 and the up and down on 18. I'm in a good spot.


Q. How good was the chip on 17 there?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I hate to sound like that, but it was really good. It was a bad lie. I mean, I was really hoping that a drain was in my way so I could get a draw, but it just wasn't. It was tough because there is really no grass around it. Usually on your lie you can take some practice swings somewhere, but it was just so deep it was spongey and all into the grain and there was nowhere to really practice at. It was kind of hard to tell how the club was going to come out. I had a little bit of room behind it. I obviously wanted to keep it up on that top shelf. I somehow judged it right, so it was a really good up and down.

Q. How did you see that shot on 18 coming throught the trees, and then did you think might have had water...
JUSTIN THOMAS: No, I knew it was never going to go in the water unless something just crazy happened. Unless it was hooking it wasn't gonna go in there. It sloped left. It kind of sloped back a little bit that way to the hole. I mean, I pulled it about 10, 12 yards which is why I aimed over there, so if I did pull it it would still be okay. Yeah, it was a relatively easy shot. I mean, it wasn't easy to make three by any means, but just the pin wasn't too tucked either side from the edge of that top shelf to where short or long wasn't doable to make four, but it was still a good four.

Q. How comfortable do you feel in this position going into the weekend?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Very. I've been here a lot. I guess I haven't technically been here exactly where I am, you know, solo leading. I don't know how it's going to finish out, but I'm comfortable. I mean, I've had my opportunities and I've learned from my mistakes or learned from my times where I didn't feel like I played or made the mental decisions I felt like I should have. I'm very excited to play this weekend.

Q. (Question regarding when to be patient and when to be aggressive.)
JUSTIN THOMAS: I have to be patient. I think being aggressive kind of comes with it. If you have a wedge in your hand, like on 1, for instance, there is not really anything to do but be aggressive there. It's four from -- I think it was like four from the right today, so back stop, there was really nothing else to do. There is definitely times where you have to be aggressive depending on the clubs you have. But like today, I stayed very patient. 7, I played that hole really well. And then 10, you know, I played well. Hit a good wedge in there. Hit a good putt. Just got a little offline and that was a little frustrating. But stayed patient and made that good putt on 11. That was something for me. As the round went on, just same with like I guess it was 13 through 16. Those are some good birdie opportunities. Obviously 15 is difficult, but I didn't play those holes very well. Stayed patient. Had the good up and down on 17, so it's definitely a key factor.

Q. (No microphone.)
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, absolutely. I think that definitely helps. But at the same time, you see it pretty often where guys will make -- obviously it's a little harder in a place like this. Some courses guys will make the cut by one and end up winning. Keep hanging and hanging, reel off a little birdie stretch, and there you are. Not saying it can't be done here, but it definitely helps when you're up there and pars don't do you quite as much damage.

Q. You talked yesterday about being midway through the tournament and seeing numbers and thinking you're just going to to have keep pushing and then finding out that (indiscernible). You can't really have that mindset this weekend, can you? You have to keep pushing, right?
JUSTIN THOMAS: No. I mean, hopefully not. Hopefully I don't have to push at all. Hopefully people are pushing to catch me. That's the goal. No, I mean, you never really want to be pushing until you're on your last two or three holes and you need to win the tournament. Like tomorrow, you know, for guys -- hopefully not for me -- but you don't have to feel like, Okay, I need to start pushing it here to have a chance. You have a lot of holes left. Just like I said, you got to stay patient and let things happen.

Q. What's the difference between your two-bogey, ten-birdie Thursday, and your one-bogey, five-birdie Friday. Afternoon and morning? Was that the difference?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I would say is 190 feet with the putts definitely helped in the ten birdies.

Q. Speaking of pushing, are you kind of amazed that the scores didn't drop farther, that someone didn't race past you, that you're still on top?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Not really. I don't really look at the -- I try not to look on the scores a whole lot. I look to see how my friends are playing, my peers, the guys I hang out with. Other than that, I don't really try to look at the scores too much. Just trying to worry about myself.

Q. Will that change this weekend?
JUSTIN THOMAS: (No oral response.)

Q. Does the British Open opportunity factor in at all?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Absolutely not.

Q. Got your passport?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I do. I travel with it every week.
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