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


January 14, 2017

Justin Thomas

Honolulu, Hawaii

ALEX URBAN: We'd like to welcome Justin Thomas to the interview room here at the Sony Open in Hawai'i. You are 22-under par, 188, which ties the PGA TOUR 54-hole record which was originally set in 2010 by Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic. Once again, played with a big lead today.

Talk about your round and leading into the final round here.

JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it's pretty cool. You said that Jimmy caddied for both of us, so that's a pretty cool record. I'd say he's a good omen for those records for 54 holes.

Yeah, it was a good day. I didn't hit it as well today. I just kind of managed everything well, and I knew I wasn't exactly on ball-striking or with my irons. So I just was trying to kind of put it in the middle of the greens when I didn't have a good yardage or anything like that.

Q. You mentioned on TV being proud of the bogey-free round. Five-shot lead, are you thinking today, still play aggressive, don't give anything away? Is that an intentional thought going into the day?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It was kind of a smart aggressive. Trying to think of examples. But there just was times, I would say like 4, where when I'm hitting it well, even when the pin is front left, it's a pretty good number, and I'm usually going to be starting that thing left and let it fade to it. I understand that left is dead and I know it's a bad spot.

So today I'm aiming more low right, and if it goes straight, I'm right next to it, and if it tucks like it should, it's over where it was. It's more so like that, to where I'm going to have birdie putts, but not quite as aggressive, just because I don't need to be.

But any time I had a wedge or a 9-iron or anything like that in my hand or an acceptable pin, tried to be aggressive. I just really didn't execute the shots as well.

Q. Any hopes, when the day is over, "I hope I have, this"?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Not really. I wanted to get to 23-under. That was just a little goal I set myself. I felt like it was very, very achievable and capable. Just one shot short. But nothing to hang my head about.

Q. Not to bring up the negative, but no one in TOUR history has ever lost a seven-shot lead. That must be something you're excited about keeping going, I guess.
JUSTIN THOMAS: I'm more excited about the seven-shot lead than -- (laughter).

Q. My point being, obviously you're still playing exceptionally well, and I understand you're probably planning to put the foot down tomorrow rather than protect.
JUSTIN THOMAS: It's just situational. Depends on where I am off the tee. Depends on what the guys are doing that are chasing me. At the end of the day, it's just golf. I need to go out and make a lot of birdies when I have an opportunity to, and I understand sometimes par is a good score.

So just going to kind of -- it's nothing -- it's not like there's anything written down or set in stone of what I'm going to be doing on those holes. Just kind of going to go out and play.

Q. Are you proud of your maturity we've seen over the last few months, being able to hang in today like when you were not able to get anything going early?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Absolutely. My rookie year, I have would not have been able to do what I have done the 2016, 2017 season so far.

I think the biggest example is in Malaysia on Saturday. I was 4-over through I think 13 or whatever it was, and birdied the last five holes. That's the reason I had a chance to win that golf tournament. If I don't do that, I'm nine -- somewhere between seven and nine back going into Sunday and that's not really achievable.

So I'm very, very proud and very pleased with how I've handled everything. But that's in the past and I just need to keep doing it.

Q. We talked on Thursday after your 59, the relative success of the entire class of '11. In your opinion, why has the class been able to come out so quickly and do what all of you have been able to do?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I'm trying to think of how to say this without sounding really arrogant, but I just think we're all good. I think we're all very accomplished. We've won at every level we've played. And I know that a lot of people have.

But I think that there's very few times when you've had the group of guys that have literally competed at every level: We've competed at junior level, we've competed in amateur golf, we've competed in college golf, we've competed in professionals and amateurs. I mean, we've literally gone against each other for so long.

I think when one person does something, it pushes us more. But also, just like a lot of the young guys, we don't have any fear. We expect to play well. We expect to do well. It couldn't happen without a little bit of game, so I'd like to hope that we have some of that.

Q. Given the different courses and conditions, etc., can you assess the difference in how you're playing this week compared with last?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Pretty similar. Yeah, it's obviously two total and completely different golf courses. A lot more drivers last week. Just kind of whaling away more so. The fairways are huge this week. It's a lot of position, and getting in the fairways, but I am kind of starting to hit a decent amount of drivers. Just to use my length to my advantage, and I feel comfortable with some of the drives.

It's pretty similar. I mean, I feel like I'm hitting -- I've driven it pretty well this week, and I drove it pretty well last week. And the irons are, like I said, not as sharp today. But they were pretty good the rest of the week, kind of like how they were last week.

Q. We touched on this a little bit earlier, but what's the challenge for you tomorrow?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Trying to get it done. Just staying in the moment. Staying in the process and just taking each hole, each shot at a time, one shot at a time and just focusing on where we're at in that golf course and not looking ahead or looking at anything else. Just focusing on what we're doing.

Q. If you were to describe how you were playing overall, general, one word, what would it be?

Q. Going into 18, was that 54-hole record on your mind?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It actually was. I really wanted to birdie those last three. Because I had no idea until Todd said something in an interview yesterday.

18 is a drive where I can really cut a lot off just because of how I can hit it. It's pretty hard to over-hit it left and not have anything. Even if you're behind a tree, you can hit in the fairway and you're going to have a little chip or something like that in. That's my main goal on that hole is just to try to hook it as much as I can and I hooked it today. I hit it way left.

But yeah, I wanted to at least get a look at eagle. So I mean, not that I'm disappointed with anything that I did today, but yeah, I wanted it.

Q. That you guys come out with no fear and that has been a trend lately with the young players. Tiger Woods was almost laughed at when he came out the same way. You had to earn your stripes back in the day I guess. What do you think it is that's different now? Is it a society thing?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I'd say it's because of him honestly. I think what Tiger did, you can't put into words what he did and continues to do for this game. Even the money that we're playing for to the people that enjoy golf and the fans of golf, I mean, I got into golf, as much as I did, watching him play. I knew he was in his early 20s and winning majors.

You know, people talk about how big of a deal it is to win a TOUR event in their low 20s, but the golf ball doesn't know how old you are. I think that's a mentality I've always had. I've never understood why a 55-year-old can't win and the same reason an 18-year-old can't win. Yeah, their games may not be as exactly matured or not at the peak they could be at some point in their career, but like I said, that golf ball doesn't know.

I think watching him do what he did at his young age, at least for me, it gave me all the hope that I could do it.

Q. Did you have any other stressful moments, if there was such a thing, after 8, any other holes where you kind of scrambled a bit?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Not really, no. 17 was maybe a little bit of a stress walking up to the green. But I had a good lie, so it was a pretty easy chip. Other than that, no, everything was pretty easy today.

Q. After winning last week and doing what you've done through three rounds this week, are you tired? Have you done anything different to get a little bit more rest or guard against being tired?
JUSTIN THOMAS: No. No. I've been able to train (ph) all nights this week, and I've been getting my butt handed to me at gin every night. That's about the only difference from this week to last week. No, same thing: Getting dinner, getting rest and waking up at 7:00 A.M., getting room service and watching TV till it's time to leave.

Q. Hard to quantify, especially when you don't finish college, but how is your confidence level different from last week? Can you explain?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Similar. It's still golf.

Q. You don't feel any different?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Similar, comfortable, maybe a little bit. No, I don't know. I feel very similar. I feel -- it's not how probably thought I would have felt before these two tournaments, if that's makes sense.

I felt like I maybe would have been a little more jittery or a little more nervous. But who knows, I might feel that way tomorrow. But no, I'd say very similar.

ALEX URBAN: Thank you for your time, Justin.

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