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January 2, 2020

Justin Thomas

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Q. How would you assess the round out there today?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I played well. I just was kind of patient and steady the first nine, ten holes. Really felt like I only hit one bad putt. I had the wind kind of pick up on 9 and on the short one felt like I needed to hit it a little harder and kind of jammed it. But other than that I got up-and-down on 1 and 7 when I needed to, and other than that just kept the ball in front of me. It was pretty easy.

Q. With some of the changes on the course, is it kind of be patient and know if you play these things even par you'll have your chances?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yes and no. The thing is the pins were front on 1, 2 and 4, and if they're downwind, you can't get close to the hole unless you get lucky and land it short or make a long putt. I mean, I landed it literally two inches on the green on 2 and I had about a 45-footer from past the hole. That's just how it is. Everyone has to play in those conditions, not just me. I understood that those were not really holes I was going to attack and make birdie unless I made a long putt, and I know the back nine you can make a lot of birdies, and I could have birdied nine of the last ten holes today really. I played really, really solidly the last half of the round.

Q. With the wind expected to kick up a little more the next few days, how do you kind of approach playing out here? Is there an approach you take when the wind starts to kick up here?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Not really. It's not any different than you play any other course when it gets windy. You just assess every shot and every hole for what it is, and if you get out of position you try to get back in or get it to a spot where you can kind of get it up-and-down or something like that. But no, there's not really a certain strategy. You're still going to need to make birdies and still have birdie opportunities, but it's just the hard part is around the greens and putting when it gets blowing like that. You just kind of have to play smart and hopefully have a lot of birdie putts.

Q. What's the most challenging part if the wind does get 30, 35 miles an hour?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I think putting. Any time I ever watch golf it frustrates me how it's never talked about, the wind and putts. Today it blew eight miles an hour, whatever it was, 10 miles an hour, and it affects putts. It's plain and simple. So when it blows 25 to 35, you'll have putts that are supposed to break a foot right to left and they'll go the other way. There's no putt that's a gimme when it's like that. You could hit a putt from this far and it's dead straight, but if the wind picks up you're going to miss it. Like I said, it drives me nuts when I watch golf and they're like, I can't believe they misread that. It's like, it's blowing 25, it's not even close to that. But everyone has to play with it, so I'm just going to have to be patient and hopefully just kind of time it all right.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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