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June 15, 2018

Justin Thomas

Southampton, New York

Q. Talk about the wind conditions during the round.
JUSTIN THOMAS: They changed a lot. It was -- you know, when we started, it was a good 10 to 15 mile an hour wind. And then the rain came out of nowhere, and it was -- it was a very, very long, difficult golf course that put even more of a premium on hitting fairways with the rough being how it was. You kind of had to play for skids on chips.

If it was into the wind, the ball really wasn't bouncing, and if it was downwind, it was really skidding a lot. But all of that us, we adjusted that pretty well. The hardest part, though, I think is just distance control. The ball was just going so short. It was so much colder. A lot -- just a thick, stiff wind and a little bit of rain. So that made it a little tougher than we thought.

Q. Did you have your umbrella with you?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I did. Prepared.

Q. Describe the way D.J. is playing.
JUSTIN THOMAS: He's playing well. You know, he's gotten a couple breaks. That's helped as well. But, I mean, anybody that would be leading the U.S. Open after two rounds, or any tournament, for that matter, probably would. So he's just playing solid. He's not doing anything great. He's not doing anything bad. He's just hitting the fairways, keeping it in front of him, and he's playing D.J. golf.

Q. What kind of breaks? Did the TV guy find his ball or what?
JUSTIN THOMAS: You know, just things here and there. It happens any time anybody wins, to be perfectly honest. But it's not anything groundbreaking or anything crazy. It's just, you know, we've -- we're all fortunate when we hit a ball offline and have to look for it that we have a little bit -- a couple more people to help look than other groups or if I would be playing a couple years ago. So it is what it is.

Q. Tiger just didn't get the result he wanted. What was he like out there?
JUSTIN THOMAS: You know, it is -- he just didn't -- he definitely didn't have it, but, really, he didn't play that poorly. He played pretty well for the most part yesterday. He just had, obviously, a couple bad holes for as hard as it played. And then today, again, he just kind of had a couple hole stretch there that he struggled a little bit.

But, you know, I don't think you need me to tell you he's not pleased, but I'm sure he's closer than the score shows. But you never know. We don't know what the winds are going to do in terms of if it comes up a little bit more or not. But it is a U.S. Open, so you don't know if he'll have a chance or not.

Q. (No microphone)?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I thought it was good. It was a good number for me, being able -- I think it was 310 front. Some helping wind to where I could kind of -- I mean, I was just trying to hit it exactly where I did, trying to cut a driver and hit in that bunker because I knew, if I pushed it, I could get it over right in the fairway where I was chipping uphill. Then if I pulled it in that left bunker, I could hit it on the green.

Q. Why was that not good? What's the punishment?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Just length. I mean, if they can't reach it, if they can't cover that stuff, I don't think it's worth it, and D.J. didn't go for it because I think he felt like he had too much club. 3 wood wasn't quite going to cover, and driver could potentially land on the green and go in those back bushes.

For me, I felt like I could just kind of not slice, but hit a pretty good cut up against the wind and it was going to stay short. Again, if I pulled it, I was going to make par at the worst.

Q. How do you feel about the way you scrambled to keep yourself in the tournament?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I feel great. I didn't drive it very well. I definitely didn't play my best. But, you know, even par around here without having your best stuff is definitely more of a positive than a negative.

So, again, I'm just going to go grab some lunch and do some work with my dad on the range and try to figure out why we weren't hitting it better.

Q. J.T., would you like to see get tougher, stay where it is, or a little easier?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Whatever provides me being farther up the leaderboard. I mean, being eight back, with two rounds to go, I probably need some wind. I need a little bit more difficult.

Yesterday, I thought, was set up so, so well. It was not unfair by any means. It was just difficult. I mean, you could -- you know, you could go play the easiest place we have on Tour and give us 25 mile an hour winds, and it's going to be a lot harder. So it just so happened to be Shinnecock Hills, and wind like that is tough out here.

So, I mean, you know, it looks like it's not going to be anything crazy this afternoon, and I don't think the forecast shows much this weekend either. But at the end of the day, I can't worry about what he or whoever's at. I just have to go out and try to play well.

Q. (No microphone) used the phrase D.J. golf. Is there a sentence to describe D.J. golf?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It's just really good and really consistent. He drives the ball really well. His distance control and his iron, his flights are great. And he's a very, very underrated bunker player. He had some great up and downs out of bunkers today, and he's putting the ball well. So pretty much has it all covered, I think.

Q. When he's this hot, is he catchable?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I'd like to hope so. Thanks.

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