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May 30, 2019

Justin Thomas

Dublin, Ohio

Q. Talk about your round?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I felt good. I was just rusty. You could tell, I mean, I just -- I did some dumb things. I laid the soft over 5-iron on 5. I hit some bad drives, for as good as I've been driving it. I felt like I hit really a lot of good putts. I kind of misread them. My speed was good. Putts like 18 or like there on 4, those were all hard putts. They're putts that they're breaking this much from 8 to 12 feet so you really have to match everything up perfectly.

I was glad. I felt like I scrambled well those last few holes to shoot under par. But I definitely left a lot out there. I won't have a usual again, as long as I don't do anything stupid. That's the reason I waited as long as I did. I wanted to come to the event not having to worry about it. And now I don't have to worry about it.

Q. When you have a layoff like this, what's the hardest part of your game to get back?
JUSTIN THOMAS: For sure like the touch, the chipping. Just like those kind of 20- to 40-yard shots where you don't really have like a swing, or at least I don't. Kind of this feel where you have to land it in a spot this big. I feel like that's always hardest for me.

But I didn't really have a lot of those. I'm really having a hard time with club face control. I've got to wide open. I hit some shots that just started so far right and leaked today. I haven't really had that issue last week. I just am struggling right now with it. But, again, I got it around and still hit a decent amount of good shots for how bad some of them were too.

Q. At the same time, do you feel mentally fresh at all?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I'm definitely mentally fresh. If you're not mentally fresh after six weeks off, you've got other issues. I knew I was going to be rusty coming out here. I obviously expected to play well, but I also wasn't expecting to come out here and shoot 65 or -6. In your first round back after two or three weeks off is hard, let alone six or seven, or whatever it was.

Yeah, I tried to stay very patient. I felt that I did that. It was just hard to get in the rhythm when I felt like anytime I hit a good shot I wouldn't make the putt or anytime I would have an opportunity on an easy hole I wouldn't hit a good drive. I played the par-5s 1-under, which is not very good around here. I don't know, try to go figure it out this afternoon and play well tomorrow.

Q. (No microphone.)
JUSTIN THOMAS: No, not at all.

Q. Is this the best course to try and come after a six-week layoff, come out here?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I don't think it really matters. The fairways are very generous, even though I didn't hit very many today. That definitely helps. I don't think there's such thing as a good or bad course to come back. You look at a place like Augusta with not very small fairways and no rough. Something like that would be easy. But it's just more so the touch and just the shot making. Like 12 today, it's just a perfect pulled 8-iron and I just wasn't comfortable with that and I couldn't figure out which one to hit, and I tried to kind of cut it off the pin, and I left the face wide open and made bogey. That's not a very hard shot when I'm playing a lot.

That's where the trust needs to come. And I really hit some good shots on the back nine. I made a good 6-iron on 4 there from 208, held it into a left-right wind. That's what I do. That's what I feel my strength is, hitting shots like that. I'll get back into it. Hopefully it starts tomorrow, not later.

Q. How was the rough?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It's probably the longest rough I've ever played in a tournament. Not counting fescue, but just like off the fairway. I mean, it's unbelievable. It's nasty.

Q. Your first competitive round since the Masters. How was it out there for you today?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It was okay. I was definitely rusty. I made some not dumb mistakes, but I just hit some bad shots and in spots I usually don't. I hit a lot of really quality shots, and I felt like I hit a lot of good putts. I just didn't necessarily have some in the best spots. I misread a couple. The greens are so fast and so severe that you can have some pretty breaking putts where it's hard to make them.

I felt good over the putter. I've done a lot of putting, so I felt pretty good over it and I felt confident. I just didn't make some there in the first 15 holes or so. But I made two good putts on the 16th and 17th holes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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