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June 1, 2017

Justin Thomas

Dublin, Ohio

Q. Got off to a blaze short game start. 4-under through your first five holes and then kind of slowed down a bit. How would you describe the early start and then what happened after?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it was a great start. It doesn't matter what course you're playing or how easy or hard the golf course is, 4-under through 5 makes the golf a lot easier.

I played well today. I was very solid, very consistent. I hit a lot of good putts, had some good looks on those middle holes where I didn't do a lot and really played well those last five or six holes to not get anything out of it. Although it could have been three, four shots lower, I'm not going to be too disappointed with that.

Q. This is your fourth start here. You had two cuts missed and three starts. Is there a different approach towards this year's edition?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I'm playing better. Last year that was probably the worst I've ever swung it in my life. The year before that I had a bad Friday, had a good Thursday. It's weird.

I love the course, it's a place I really enjoy playing. It's fun because you can go out and have runs like that. You can make ten birdies in a round. But if you're not playing a good round, it's a struggle. I enjoy courses like that and my game is in a good spot.

Q. Talk about your round. Good score.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, yeah, very pleased. It's a good start to this event. I felt like to start off with the wind that calm was important to kind of take advantage a little bit and I was able to do so. Those greens are so good, it's so hard to -- it's honestly upsetting and disappointing when you miss a putt, because they're so pure. I played really well. I hit a lot of good shots, a lot of good putts that didn't go in the last five or six holes, but nothing to be upset about.

Q. You've had success here?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I've had success in Columbus, not at this event, for sure. It's just nice being here. This is as close as I can get to a home event, unfortunately. And I'm very fortunate to have some friends come up and have my mom and dad, it's an easy drive for them and my grandparents. I don't get to see them very often. It's a lot of fun.

Q. Speaking of friends, to play with one of your best friends, what is that like? Is it easier or does it make a difference?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Kis is one of my really good buddies. Playing with both those guys, you have to back off a little bit and get refocused, because you're joking around and trying to enjoy it, that you almost forget that you're in the middle of a golf tournament. There's times like that where it's difficult. But it's easy walking down the fairways and having conversation, it keeps the mood light.

Q. Was it like that today?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Luckily we all got off to a good start where we were all in our own little thing. We had it going in separate parts of the round. Today was an easy day.

Q. What is the mindset heading into tomorrow?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Play good golf and give yourself a lot of chances. Trying to stress on not being aggressive and getting after the course too much. I just need to kind of take it at a little slower and realize when I have the opportunities and jump on them when I have them and try to minimize mistakes.

Q. I know you're focusing on this week and this tournament. But in the back of your mind are you thinking about the U.S. Open?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Not really. I played the course. I know what it's like. It's golf. You're going to have to go hit the shots when you're dealt with them that week. And you don't know how the condition of the course will be in terms of soft or firm or rough or not. And I'm just going to have to be ready when I get there. But I'm just focused on this week.

Q. How did you feel about your play?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It's great. My game is in a good spot, which I'm excited about. I put in a lot of hard work last week with my dad, and I feel like we have everything close to where we want it. And days like this where I feel like an easy 5-under are nice to have.

Q. You got off to such a good start, how hard is it to keep that up? Do you feel like your game is trending again?
JUSTIN THOMAS: As much as you want it to happen, it's not realistic to say I'm going to keep this up. You don't win 15 times, 20 times in a year, as much as you'd like to and think that you can. It's not realistic. I think I can win five, six, seven times a year, but that's over a long year.

I feel like it's definitely improving. And I just kind of went through a month and a half or two where I was not getting the breaks on the course and I really wasn't playing that poor, I just wasn't making the putts, getting up and down when I needed to and that was making all the difference in the world.

Q. 5-under par, alongside Jordan Spieth. How much does playing with a pal but also playing with someone who is as competitive as Jordan Spieth get the best out of you?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I don't know, I guess it does. It's easy to say that since I've had some good rounds and success with him. But I've had poor rounds with him, too. The easiest part is just between the shots and being able to talk and just catch up because there's not too often we get to sit down and relax. But that's kind of the closest thing we have to it, is walking in the fairways and a lot of waiting like we did on the front nine today, just kind of BSing a little bit and having fun. Between him and Kis, we had I a good time out there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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