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February 2, 2018

Justin Thomas

Scottsdale, Arizona

Q. Clean card and kept it clean after the splash at 15, you still managed your par. Three birdies, no bogeys.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it was a good solid day. It was easy, I mean I had a couple really huge par saves. Going bogey-free in a round is something that's really important and something I've really tried to get better at and have a lot more of this year, just being smart and kind of plotting my way around out there. Definitely let a couple get away that I felt like I could have capitalized on, but bogey-free 3-under is a good round.

Q. Were you able to keep your patience out there? These par-5s are so tantalizing.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, they are, but at the same time 13, if you get it out of position, it's not exactly short. I'm hitting a great drive in there and I'm hitting 4-iron in, so that means other people are hitting 5-wood or something. And it's a very shallow green. So making five is not end of the world. Obviously you want a four. Same with 15, it's a tough tee shot, you get it in the fairway then it's a birdie hole, but I've yet to do so the first two days so hopefully I can this weekend.

Q. Now everyone out here has a sad story to tell, but you've actually had just one bad half hour in the opening round at 16 and 17. Were you able to let that go?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Not for awhile. I was pretty upset and mad about that last night because I really let a good chance get away to shoot, I felt like, 7- or 8-under. But it is what it is and the stretches like that are going to happen over the course of four days and hopefully I just got mine out of the way.

Q. 68, not as low as you wanted, but still got to be happy you're playing the weekend here.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, for sure, it's a course that I like and fits my eye well. I played well my rookie year here so it's not like -- I don't have too many bad vibes here -- I just didn't make anything the last two years. But definitely could have gotten a couple more out of it today but had a lot of great par saves too.

Q. What's the challenge for you on this golf course?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Just execution. It's all right in front of you, it's not like there's any tricks. It's not, nothing's hidden, there's really not a whole lot of risk/reward, it's just all right in front of you. It's just really a matter of hitting the golf shots and making the putts.

Q. You and Jordan are good friends, good competitors, you want to beat one another, but when you see him out on the golf course struggling a little bit did you ever want to tell him, hey, you're doing this or doing that? You can't, but do you ever get that feeling?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Not really because we're not paying attention to technique in the other person. That's never been my place and never will be my place to tell another player what they're doing, unless they ask me. He's just uncomfortable with the putter right now and he'll get it going. He hit a lot of good putts that didn't go in too, but that's golf that happens a lot.

Q. You have your good buddy Matt Killen on the bag this week, how has that worked out?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It's good. He's caddied for me a couple times before so it's not like something I was uncomfortable with. Yeah, we're having a good time out there and hopefully we can continue to play some good golf.

Q. Yesterday you had a poor ending to your round, you showed visible frustration. What was your approach in order to bounce back today?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Really just trying to put it behind me and realize that it's over with. Although I was upset and it was frustrating, but you can make so many birdies out here and especially as good as I feel like I'm playing, I just need to kind of stick to that game plan and just try to keep giving myself a lot of birdie looks.

Q. Bogey-free round today. You said that that's a goal of yours, something that you take a lot of pride in and it's important. Why is it so significant?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It's because I'm not giving up any shots to the field. That's something that's so important, especially on Saturday, Sunday when you get in the hunt. It's a lot harder for guys to make ground on me if I don't give them any freebies. So I feel like I'm good enough to start making fewer bogeys, a lot of it is in my short game and just tidying that up, which I'm getting there. But I've had too many 7, 8, birdie rounds that end up in a 3- or 4-under when they could be a 7- or 8-under round.

Q. Speaking of the weekend, how does this course setup? What's the most important thing you have to remember when you're trying to chase?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I like this course a lot. Other than my rookie year, I played it really poorly the last two years. But when you get in the fairway it's very, very scorable. A lot of short irons in your hand, which I feel like is a strength of mine. And then from there it's just kind of leaving it in the right spots to get easy putts, because you can have some pretty tough putts, tough breaking putts where you're not as likely to make them. So just really kind of basically have control of your golf game.

Q. Especially when there's some crowd reaction as well.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, exactly.

Q. How did the environment and the course, how did you perform today in that environment?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It's a lot easier in those morning rounds. Afternoon rounds are hard when everyone gets a little sauced up and they're enjoying it out here. But it's fine. Playing the front nine first, there was not as many people on 16, 17. But the course was a little more receptive today. The greens were a little softer so you could kind of attack a little more. But it was harder to get used to it honestly. I had a lot of iron shots that didn't bounce out as much as I thought.

Q. When the leaderboard gets this bunched up, do you feel like you can be more aggressive through the weekend?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Not at all, just keep playing my game and if I execute the way I feel like I should execute then I think I'll have a good chance.

Q. You said earlier this week that you wouldn't be here if you didn't like the course. But you can't love every course that you play during a full PGA TOUR season. What's the challenge like when you go to a course that doesn't necessarily fit your eye?
JUSTIN THOMAS: There's really not any courses I get to that I don't like, honestly. We have a full schedule out here for a reason and you can kind of pick and choose. There's actually a handful of tee shots out here that don't fit my eye that I don't like very much, but in terms of an entire golf course, I like it. I like all the ones that I play, at least I feel like I do. But, no, you just have to try to find a way to get it around when you find a tee shot that you done like, kind of thing.

Q. Do you think your quads are strong enough to hit a half squat for the entire length of a news conference? Do you think you could do this?

Q. Take me through 17, man.

Q. Sure. Please. Short par-4.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it's a good hole. I mean it's a pretty perfect 3-wood for me and I hit a good one today. But, yeah, I think it's about 315 or so front, so just kind of depends on where the pin is in terms of where you're trying to leave it.

Q. Why go 3-wood, a lot of guys go driver?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Driver's too much club for me.

Q. How did you get over that half hour that you spoke about? You said it stuck with you a little bit. How did you finally get over it?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I just went to dinner with my parents. I was going to get room service but I knew I was going to be all miserable sulky, by myself. So I was like I just need to get out. So I went to eat with them and had a good dinner and went back and got some sleep.

Q. You haven't had any moments after winning as much as you won last year where you sit back and go, man, I haven't won in like a month?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Not at all. It's really hard to win out here.

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