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February 27, 2016

Justin Thomas

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Q. I know you must feel a little beat up but 2-under par moves you up the leaderboard?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it's always a grind out here when it gets this windy. It's a little different wind direction. I really, really played well, I did. Obviously the start was ideal but that 10 through 13 stretch, I really could have gotten a couple more, so that was a bummer but I'm not worried about it.

Q. When it's this windy and the golf course is playing this difficult, I imagine patience is critical out there?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Extremely. It's fun -- sometimes it's not fun but when you play events like this, it is fun, because you really just have to be patient. You've got to grind. You've got to salvage pars. Making a couple birdies is exciting, as opposed to when it's 25-under wins tournament. Feels like I haven't played many U.S. Opens, but I feel like this feels like it.

Q. Just talk about your round.
JUSTIN THOMAS: I played really well. Got off to a good start obviously, which is ideal. I hit a lot of really good shots today. I had some par saves there on 4 and 6 that held it together on that front nine, and I did, I played well. Those holes, 10 through 13, I felt like I could have at least gotten two or three on those holes making birdies. But the thing about is you're not losing grounds with pars. Birdies were huge but I felt like those were tougher holes and I made par and I couldn't get too down on myself.

Q. Patience is one of the biggest keys out here, and this course, knowing the leaders have to go through those tough holes --
JUSTIN THOMAS: It is. It's extremely important. It's a lot different than a lot of tournaments we play. It's such a grind and it's just such a tough course, even when there's no wind and it's soft and the greens are starting to get a little bit firmer and it's windy. Just it really is a good test of golf.

Q. Is this week getting back closer to home, serve as a bit of a re-set for you after the West Coast?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I guess so. I never really thought of it that way. It's nice being able to stay at home and not have to pack all this different stuff. I've got all my stuff there and I have the local spots I want to go eat at or get in my routine of places that I usually go.

It's nice more than anything being able to sleep in my own bed.

Q. Has The Ryder Cup been any motivation?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Not really. Felt like I didn't deserve to be there from how I've played this year, since the fall events didn't count. I'm not too worried about it. I'm just trying to play golf.

Q. Do you go into the final round extra aggressive?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Not at all. I don't know where I stand right now or what it will end up being, so that will change a little bit. But I feel like you can make bogey so fast, so I've just got to go out there and try to stick with my good game plan and try to keep executing shots and giving myself looks. All it takes is one hot day with the putter and you never know what can happen.

Q. Is there one part of your game that's clicking more than on the West Coast?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Everything. I was really just playing so bad, I was. I may have been closer than I felt like I was but I felt like I was so far off with every aspect of my game, which is really frustrating obviously. But I've been working hard and it's such a crazy game. I don't know how I'm going to play tomorrow. I obviously hope that I play great, but you really don't know, and that's the joy and the not so much joy of this game. It's nice to start seeing my shots and hitting them again a little bit.

Q. Did you feel coming into this week that a turnaround might be close, around the corner?
JUSTIN THOMAS: You never know. I definitely didn't feel after Sunday at Riviera that it was anything close. I played really, really poorly there, but I made some progress through the week. I was struggling Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday pretty bad but Thursday, Friday, Saturday, I got better each day, which is huge, and I just tried to look at those days a lot more so than Sunday and just tried to move forward from that. I felt like I did and made some progress, and you know, I'm just trying to get my game peaking by Masters time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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