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February 28, 2019

Justin Thomas

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Q. Can you start by summing up your day?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it was -- any time you shoot 68 out here it's a good round. Probably wasn't exactly how I had it envisioned in my head, but I don't know, I just had a hard time getting focused and kind of getting into it. Even at the start, I just couldn't -- I just kind of felt very Jello-y and very blah, so it probably took me by surprise to get off to a start like that. I hit some good putts on the back nine, although I made a lot of putts on the front. I still hit a lot of good putts on the back, just didn't make them. Two bad swings there on 15 and 16 cost me, but at least we had a good finish there.

Q. Talk to us about what happened on No. 10 with the club against a tree.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I mean, I didn't hit a great drive, but I knew with that left pin, if I missed it in the right rough I had a good angle, but obviously kind of being behind a tree got a little stymied there, and I thought the way the club was going to hit the tree it was just going to break, and being at home, I was like, all right, I just have to avoid a 9-iron the rest of the day. But it didn't break, it kind of hit kind of near the hosel and just kind of sent a little shock up my arm. I was talking about it with Rick, I think it's like a baseball bat that doesn't break, just kind of the resistance goes back into the club.

Just kind of ice my wrist a little bit tonight. It'll be fine, but I think it was just more of a shock than anything.

Q. You had Rickie look at it a couple holes later; did he see kind of the same thing --
JUSTIN THOMAS: I mean, it's bent, yeah. That's the thing, we don't know how much loft is put on it. To me it looks a little bit flatter and it looks like it has a decent bit more loft, so it's definitely not a 9-iron.

Q. But you were able to avoid it the rest of the round?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Well, yeah, it was a perfect 9-iron on 11. I could have hit 9-iron on 12. But I wasn't going to risk it.

Q. So you hit 8 then?
JUSTIN THOMAS: No, I just hit a wedge literally as hard as I could hit it on 11. 12 was a wedge, but that's with the wind downwind. But yeah, it was a little easier on 12 because I didn't have water in front of the greens.

Q. Being able to salvage the end the way you did, how nice of a way is that to end the day?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it's great. I mean, you know you're always going to get a stretch out here that's difficult or you can potentially have an over-par round out here. So to feel like I gave quite a few back today and to shoot 2-under par around this golf course is great. So try to go home and get some rest and see if we can get it going tomorrow.

Q. The rule change, there was just a change in bent shafts. Did you need confirmation? Did you know exactly what the rule was?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I had heard. You can just add that one to the list of rules that don't make any sense. But no, that's the thing. If it was in the shaft, I could have tried to bend it, but it literally was right at the hosel, and I tried to step on it, tried to do everything I could, but again, I just -- you can see it when you look at it, but it's just -- it wasn't worth the risk of hitting it and not knowing what's going to happen.

Q. So you'll replace it?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Just exactly how it was. If you break or bend the club in play, I don't see where the harm is in replacing it. Obviously you can't break a club in anger and replace it, but if you hit a shot and you hit a tree and it breaks or bends like that, if you have a spare, I don't understand what's --

Q. Under the old rule, what would you have done?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Well, I don't have my backup iron unless someone wanted to drive home to my house and get a 9-iron. But for an instance like -- I have other wedges or I have an extra putter or I have another driver in my locker for that reason. But now that I think about it, it doesn't really make a big difference.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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