February 10, 2022
Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Q. Seemed pretty ho-hum, except for 16. Your thoughts on the round?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I played well, I just didn't get off to a great start driving-wise. I was hitting 'em really solid, I was hitting 'em off the middle of the club, just was a little stuck underneath it.
Had a nice par save there on 9, and, yeah, I just tried to stay patient. I know you can, over the course of four days here, I'm going to have a couple runs where I get it going pretty good and I just need to be in the right frame of mind to do it.
And it wasn't today, so just stay patient and hope it happens next couple days.
Q. Watching you birdie 16 it kind of brought THE PLAYERS to mind last year in the sense of when there's big crowds you seem to really, really eat it up. Has it always been that way?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I mean, I enjoy it. It's what I play for, it's what a lot of us play for. I think the hardest part is the fact that it's a wedge. It would be a lot more fun if we could hit a driver because we're so amped up and so much adrenaline and it definitely took me a couple years to understand just how to play that.
You almost have to play or at least I play a couple yards for that adrenaline when I'm feeling it. There's going to be times when I don't.
But it's the same thing when you get in contention, it's just I've been fortunate enough to get myself in some spots before where I understand and know how I react to it, so it definitely helps on a hole like that.
Q. You mentioned big par save on 9. Bogey-free round today. How big is that keeping yourself in contention -- obviously we want birdies, but not bogeying, keeping yourself in par range what does that do for you going into the weekend and keeping you in contention?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I mean, it's, mentally, it's nice, it was a very, very low stress day. 67 was definitely the worst I could have shot. I very easily could have shot 26 or 63 today. But it's only the first round. I just put myself in a good position.
I love this golf course, I know that I can go really low on it if I am driving it well and get that putter rolling.
And to not really make anything at all and not make a bogey and shoot 4-under is definitely a positive.
Q. Do you know what you're ranked in the world right now?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Something top-10 probably.
Q. 7. So we asked Brooks about his World Ranking earlier and he said that he was embarrassed by it. Do you pay attention to your World Ranking?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah.
Q. Obviously not that close.
JUSTIN THOMAS: I mean, I knew -- I know, like for where I'm at -- I tried to stop looking because, yeah, it pisses me off too, I'm not happy at all that I'm 7th. I feel like I'm way better than that and I've been working harder to try to do that.
But at the same time that 2, 3, through 8 feels like me, D.J. and Rosie a couple years ago with No. 1. It was like literally every week could change and fluctuate quite a bit.
So I'm trying to not worry about it, I know that if I go out and play good golf and at least play to the caliber that I know that I can, then I'll be back where I feel like I know I should be.
Q. We saw you very emotional at the Ryder Cup. 16 obviously plays like that as well. Do you feel like you have to manage those emotions and keep yourself in check or do you just try to embrace it?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Both. You definitely have to manage it, that's first and foremost, but you definitely have to embrace it. Because, I mean, it doesn't -- I mean I hit it to five feet today and I still had people yelling or booing, like it just -- when people have 15 cocktails, they're going to, they're not going -- they're going to find something that's wrong.
But, I mean, that's the Phoenix Open, you know what you're getting into. I mean, I know what I'm getting into, the fans here are great. There's no tournament like it, there doesn't need to be another tournament like it. This place stands on its own for a reason and I know I enjoy it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports