home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 14, 2016

Justin Thomas

Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland

MIKE WOODCOCK: Delighted to welcome Justin Thomas into the interview room.

Justin, I believe this is your first appearance in The Open, and what a great start, 4-under par 67. Could you talk us through what you think the key was today?

JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, just getting out to that front nine was a big key for me. It's obviously the scoring on this course. But to birdie the first four definitely doesn't hurt. It kind of gave me, I guess you could say, a little bit of a cushion for the rest of the day.

Just I putted well. I made a lot of good putts and a lot of good saves, whether they were for birdie or par, double, even on one hole. But, yeah, I just managed my game pretty well today.

Q. Justin, obviously heck of a round. Did you surprise your own expectations here today? I don't know if this is a stretch at all, but being a Kentucky boy, any courses in your neck of the wood that compare in any aspect to what you see here at Troon?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Not at all, not at least in Kentucky. I've played some courses maybe up in the Northeast or something, but nothing compares to this.

But I would hope I didn't surprise myself. But I mean, anytime you can shoot 4-under the first round of a major, I would say it's pleasing more so than surprising.

Q. Can you speak to the difficulty of 11, and how important was that chip-in for you?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it's such a difficult hole. I think the hard thing about it is a lot of those holes on the back nine are so hard, but the thing about that one is it's such a hard drive, and if you do hit a good drive and you have anywhere from maybe a 4-iron to a 3-wood in, and the wind is in and off the left, and you have the OB to the right and bunker to the left.

So it's just like I was saying, if you can play 10 and 11, 3 or 4-over for the week combined, I'd probably take that right now. It's just a very, very difficult stretch or two-hole stretch, and to make that bunker shot today was huge. I mean, I was saying to Jimmy walking up there, if we could somehow get out of here with a 5, that would be big. So to make that 4, that's when you say the old, "there's no pictures on scorecards."

Q. Have you had any links experience before this week?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I have. I played the Palmer Cup at Royal County Down probably five years ago, and I played the Dunhill Links about three years ago. So I've had a decent bit of play on it. I love it. I wish we played it more often. I think that's what makes it so fun whenever we do get to play it.

Q. Did you feel it was a course that was going to suit your eye this week?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I think so. I think it's hard to say a links course really suits your eye because you never know what wind direction you're going to get. I think that plays a big role in a lot of courses in America because we get the same wind direction so much that some holes that have a certain shape but will have a same wind all the time so that changes it. But here I've been fortunate enough that I got here Sunday and saw the course in a completely different wind than we played today.

So this wind, it's the front nine, it's very you don't want to say easy, but it's a lot easier wind with that down off the right but the back nine is tough when you get in off the left. But I guess it just kind of depends on the wind direction.

Q. You've already had a drink from the Claret Jug this week. How was that and how sweet would it be if you were the one to hand it out over the weekend?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it tasted a lot better out of there for some reason. I was very tentative to because I'm very superstitious, but I heard Zach had done it beforehand and Phil had and many guys had before, so I was like, all right, fair game. I guess I'll do it, too. But it would be great, but it's only Thursday and I have a lot of golf left.

Q. Can you talk us through how it's going in the apartment with you and the other guys.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, a little frat house we have this week. It's fun.

Q. How have you been amusing yourself in the evenings?
JUSTIN THOMAS: We actually played -- we had a great afternoon yesterday. We all had so much fun. We're going to go just walk by the beach or the sea, but we didn't. We just decided to go throw a baseball. Rickie travels with two baseball gloves and a ball, so I think him and Jimmy started throwing, and then one by one we started going outside and then we just started finding balls everywhere in the yard, soccer balls and tennis balls and everything. Then we found something we could use as a bat, so we just pretty much started playing backyard baseball. We probably were out there for two and a half, three hours. It was great. We were like little kids again. Well, not for me and Jordan, I guess, but them. It was fun.

Q. Just curious, is it awkward to go out knowing you have to score early? Can you put too much pressure on yourself?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I think so. I try not to really think of it because now that I'm done, I realise how important this round was especially with the conditions of how they could be tomorrow and that morning round is usually the scoring round, especially over here. But then again, you still don't know what you're going to get. If it calms down for those guys in the afternoon, it's going to be easier than it was this morning. So it really, really depends. But I try not to put a lot of pressure on myself and not have a lot of expectations, but just kind of go out and really try to take it one shot and one hole at a time and not get ahead of myself. I feel like you can do that on this front nine. You kind of look ahead and realise all the birdie opportunities you have, when you just kind of need to sit and focus on that one hole you're on.

Q. Could I just check exactly who is staying in the house with you? Who is on all there?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It's myself, Rickie, Jordan, Jimmy Walker, Duff, and Zach and our chef.

Q. Busy house?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it is. Four of the six of us are in the same wave. So it will be a lot of in and out. But it's been fun. We've been having movie nights the last couple nights. Been chilling.

Q. Who is the messy one?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I don't know. Everyone has their own designated rooms. My room is on one side of the house. I mean, I don't really think I would let anybody go into any of our rooms to be honest.

Q. So no bad habits to tell us about?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Not that I know of, at least.

Q. Do you use any science?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I don't think I'm smart enough to use science and physics in golf.

Q. Do you understand physics of golf?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I don't care to. It will just mess with my head and I probably won't play as good.

Q. Did you say Zach was the chef?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Zach isn't "the" chef, "a" chef. We have six of us and then a chef, which is has probably been the best person in the house, for sure.

Q. What was for dinner the last couple nights? Is he cooking you any local Scottish cuisine? Are you having burgers or what's on the menu?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, we've had some really, really good meals. Last night we had brisket tacos. We had steaks two nights ago. We had some chicken the night before that, and then before that we had just a really good salad. He's cooking us like chicken and cheese quesadillas. Just typical Americans, we want to stick with what we know and don't try anything. He's been great. I think he's saved us all, for sure.

Q. What movies?
JUSTIN THOMAS: What movies? Let's see, we watched The Other Guys. We watched The Equalizer, Tommy Boy. Yeah, you know, just your typical guy movies.

Q. Getting back to the golf, what did you learn today that you're going to remember for tomorrow when the weather's going to be a bit worse, probably?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Probably patience. Just kind of keep hitting my shots. Jimmy, my caddie kept reminding me of that today. I think he did a really good job of keeping me in the moment and keeping me kind of focused on the task at hand and the shot that we were on, just because I kind of got going a little wayward there for a little bit. I mean, 10, making a bogey and then 11, barely salvaging a par. It would have been easy, especially going into that 13 and on stretch, just kind of losing my patience. But he's like, "You're playing great. Just keep hitting your shots and kind of focus on what we're doing."

So I think there's different scales depending on the weather. I could be play really well tomorrow if the weather is terrible and be 1-over, as opposed to 5-under. Hopefully that's not the case. Hopefully I'm under par again, but you just don't know. I think the main thing is patience and kind of sticking to my game plan.

Q. The tee shot on 11, where does that rank for difficult tee shots you'll face in a season?
JUSTIN THOMAS: For me, it's a hard tee shot, but I like seeing a driver go left to right, so it's not as uncomfortable. Although I did snipe it in the gorse today. It's a tough tee shot. But you have some room on the right. You do. But the thing is it's hard to make a par. I feel like you can -- barring a really bad shot, you can at least make a bogey, and bogey's not going to hurt you on that hole.

It's definitely up there for some people. It's just that in and off the left is the hardest wind statistically for a right-handed golfer. So it's definitely up there. I would say.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297