September 2, 2021
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
East Lake Golf Club
Q. You're going to be about five or six shots back probably at the end of the day and you've done that many times on any, whether it's Memphis or Bay Hill or anywhere. How is it different here, or is it?
JUSTIN THOMAS: No, it's no different. I would say that the only difference is I got three days instead of one to make it up. I feel that back nine today was huge. I mean, it kept me in the tournament. When you start behind like that, I mean, unfortunately, you just don't have the luxury of shooting a 1-over or 2-over the first round and I salvaged a good round out there and feel like I can easily go out there and shoot six or seven under one of these next three days and hopefully I do.
Q. Guys talk about you can't win the tournament on Thursday; you can only lose it. You can like really lose it here, can't you? Was that on your mind at all?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It was the furthest back I've started, fortunately. Two years ago I started at 10-under and last year I started at maybe 8 or something like that. So it was definitely the farthest back I've started. It is quite bizarre. I haven't even started probably on the first hole and I looked up and I'm like in 10th or something like that. So that part's a little bit bizarre when you're that far down.
But I know how this place plays. I know you got to be patient. I know I can do what I did on the back nine on any given stretch out here.
Q. What do you consider the key shot for you on the back nine? Which one are you most pleased with?
JUSTIN THOMAS: That chip shot I hit on 14 was pretty sick. I mean, that was an absolutely horrific -- I hit, I was kind of between clubs and I just wasn't committed to a 6 iron. I hit just an awful shot, short right of the green, which is where you can't hit it, and hit this 56 out of the rough that bumped, landed right where I wanted to in the fringe, and rolled down there. So that was pretty sweet.
Q. (No Microphone.)
JUSTIN THOMAS: In 2018 I think it's four, maybe five, but I'm sure I've had some good ones for 36 and 54 holes, but I don't know.
Q. You talk about looking up at a board early and seeing yourself in whatever place you're in. Is it out of site, out of mind the rest of the week?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, yeah, it's just, I mean, I have, for some reason I had a hard time getting focused today. I don't know what it was. I just was very, I don't know, I just was spacey. I couldn't just focus on what I was trying to do and it just drives me nuts because it's really, really hard to play golf when you just can't focus on what you're trying to do. And I finally kind of got into it a little bit, but I definitely can't afford to have stuff like that happen the rest of the week.
Q. What are you thinking about when you're spacey?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Just everything but what you shouldn't. You're just kind of looking around. I'm paying attention to what other guys are doing as opposed to myself. I'm just, I'm probably spectating more than I'm playing. I'm just kind of looking around and probably looking what shirt you have on today, which is I see a normal one, which is good. I don't know, just nothing good.
Q. Did Strick ask for any input as far as potential captains picks at the dinner last night.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah. Well, what do you think? I'm just going to tell you what I said? Nice try. It was good, it was laid back, it was fun. No, I mean, it was cool because in the past, I mean, the only experience I've had with that it's all over the phone and not us guys sitting in a room. So it was cool.
Q. (No Microphone.)
JUSTIN THOMAS: No. None at all.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports