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July 1, 2016

Justin Thomas

Akron, Ohio

JUSTIN THOMAS: I felt good. I felt like I really could have been more under par than 1 through my first six holes. I really hit it well, but I just had some difficult putts. It's a tough golf course. It is. I felt like I drove it a little bit better, had some birdie opportunities, and it was nice to get that 3 on 16.

Q. That's the number that stands out on that whole card?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Just I bombed a drive down there, I had 5-iron in, and I hit it just left of the green, and it was a pretty bad spot. I was actually pretty furious walking up there that I hit it there, and somehow managed to let the flagstick get in the way and chip in.

Q. What was the yardage for your 5-iron?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I had 225 front, 237 hole.

Q. And breeze across?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it's kind of down a little bit off the left.

Q. So 69, that's pretty good. Anything under par going into the weekend is good around here.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Absolutely, and all my bogeys were just from bad drives. I felt like they could have been saved for pars, but I felt like I really played solid today, and after a grind yesterday, it was nice to make it a little easier on myself today.

Q. How much attention through the middle of the year now are you paying to where you stand on the Ryder Cup rankings?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I haven't looked. I felt like with the fall not counting, it would just frustrate me if I saw my name pretty far down there because I know I'm not -- I can't imagine I'm too close to the top. I just know if I take care of my business or I feel like if I do what I should do the rest of the year, then I've done what I can do and just let the rest take care of itself.

Q. You and your buddies had spring break, played some golf since then. Does that seem like it was years ago when you did that?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I don't know, but I really would like to do it again soon. It was just the -- it's the best way to take your mind off of the grind. It was really, really good for all of us. I think it came at a good time of the year, but yeah, it does feel like a long time ago.

Q. Might be a spring fixture then, do it every year?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, the hard part is getting four guys that play on TOUR schedules to match up, but we're definitely going to do it at some point.

Q. Stats are showing that that tee shot on 16 was 414 yards. Obviously you've got the slope and it got down there. Do you think that was one of the longest drives you've ever hit?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It was the hardest I've probably ever hit a drive. It was kind of that left-to-right wind where if I just turn it over the right amount, I can get it knuckling, and as soon as I hit it I knew -- I was just happy to hit the fairway. I hit it left of the world yesterday, but as soon as I hit it, I had a pretty good idea it was going to be down there.

Q. You said you hit 5-iron in there?

Q. What did you have in there again?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I had 225 front, 237 hole, and I really was just trying to get something to bounce up to the front, and I really just hit it a little bit harder than I wanted. Walking up there, it was a pretty terrible spot. I was pretty furious I hit it there.

Q. What was that lie like there left of the bunker?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It was okay. I mean, the best I could do was I feel like get it to 12 feet was the best shot I could hit, and realistically just trying to hit it to 20 feet and try to make a putt. But that's why you take your medicine. That's why you try to hit it on the other side of the hole, and sometimes the flag just gets in the way.

Q. If I tell you that there hasn't been an eagle at that hole since 2008, does that surprise you, and it's only the third in the history of this tournament?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Not at all. Not only is it 670 yards, but the green is like hitting to a tabletop, and you're probably going to be on a downslope unless you get it way down there, and if you do hit it down there, it's going to be way downwind and you can't hold the green. Barring a hole-out, I don't see too many threes happening.

Q. Feel like you got two, maybe three shots on the field?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, definitely two. It's just a tough hole. Hitting the fairway is pivotal, and just trying to walk out there with a 5 is a good score.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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