March 19, 2022
Palm Harbor, Florida, USA
Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead)
Q. Yesterday you said would you take two more 66s. One more to do that?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I would say today was a little better given the conditions. It was definitely windier. Still not too firm. The fairways definitely got firmer, but the greens just still aren't quite there.
But I played solid. Stayed very patient. I watched a really, really good round of golf and made my round feel pretty obsolete.
Q. Do you think it's easy to lose perspective? Outside of a chip or putt here that was a really solid round of golf today?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, for sure. It was a bummer too because I felt like 6, the only one I made bogey, was one of the best holes I played today.
Hit a beautiful drive and I hit a great little kind of off-speed wedge because I felt like it was going to spin too much and I literally just flew it a yard too far. So obviously the moral of the story is don't fly it a yard too far. But yeah, then just totally duffed a chip.
But I just stayed patient because it wasn't like I hit any bad shots, just from tee to green, just had one little hiccup there around the green.
Q. You played well today. How fun was it to watch Davis?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it was great. We've shared a lot of texts back and forth. I hope he does tonight so I can ghost him so fast (laughing). No.
But I mean, it was really impressive. It's a big moment for a rookie and anybody, and he handled it like a rock star and made 9-under look very, very easy barring a crazy chip-in there on 9.
But man, it was very impressive and that's always why I've taken a liking to him and thought the world of his game.
Q. (No Microphone.)
JUSTIN THOMAS: That's the plan.
Q. Consistent. Three 66s. Just comments on today, please.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I played well. I had another good back nine, just need to get off to a little bit better start on the front nine. But didn't feel like a great round playing with Davis, but, yeah, it was a solid day and put myself in a good position for tomorrow.
Q. Anything you're going to change or are you going to just stick with what's obviously worked consistently well all week?
JUSTIN THOMAS: No, I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and really just hope that it's -- you all you want is a chance on those last four or five holes, and I feel like if I keep playing the way I'm playing, I can't control what the other guys do, but if I can do my part, then we should have a chance.
Q. You said it looked about as easy as it could I guess for a 62. What was it like for you as a big brother-type, I guess?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it was just really impressive. It was, obviously had the crazy bunker shot on 9, but he made a lot of those mid-range putts that are kind of you can make or you can miss.
And he made it seem like he should be making 'em. They were all going in. They were going in with great speed right in the middle. Very, very effortless, for sure.
Q. What about you, as you look toward tomorrow, what are you looking forward to? What do you need to do to get back in there?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Just looking forward to have a chance to win another tournament. I'm playing really well. I feel good about things. I just need to go out and stay in my own little world and try and go execute.
I feel like if I do that there's a good chance that it's going to have a chance come the last couple holes, but I can't control what those other guys do.
Q. His shot on the left trees at 7. You being in there yesterday, how good was that?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it was very good. It was a very different angle than I had and different situation. But yeah, I clearly would have taken a 3 over a 6 yesterday.
But yeah, we joked walking up, walking off 9 green that the 3s he made on 7 and 9 after those tee shots were pretty nice.
Q. You said yesterday you would take four 66s. You got three so far. Do you think one more will be enough?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I don't know. We're going to have a different wind tomorrow. We're going to have a little cooler north wind. You never know. It could have a chance. I don't know. I think it's going to be a pretty decent number. I think somewhere around that 20 to 22. But I would love to shoot a 10- or 11-under and not have to worry about it.
Q. When do you first remember seeing Davis? Probably saw him some at Bama.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I think probably first met him on a recruiting visit when he came. He was always who I was the closest with on the team like after I had left in terms of going back, and I just always got along with him. I always respected his work ethic. I mean, we're very, very similar in terms that we'll work really hard and we expect a lot out of ourselves and have high expectations.
So I took a liking to that and obviously what's not to like about his golf swing and his golf game? So I just felt like I told him very early on, if you ever need anything or want some help, just let me know. Like, I'm more than happy to because I think the world of him. But respectfully I hope I destroy him tomorrow.
Q. There's a couple young guys looking for their first win tomorrow. What's your role of experience for those guys? How valuable can that be?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It's always very valuable when you have a chance to win. But that being said, these guys are clearly pretty fearless and playing some good golf, so it doesn't necessarily mean they can't get it done. There's first-time winners all the time.
And I can't control anything about what they do. All I can do is try to go make some birdies and put some heat on them and see what happens.
Q. Not being able to control other people, but do you look at the leaderboards during the round or anything, especially after the day you had today and knowing you have a chance tomorrow, do you look at the leaderboard a lot?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yes and no. I haven't been great at leaderboard watching lately because I let it kind of affect me or change me too much. The only thing I should be looking at is what that leading score is and then just keep playing. It's a lot different the first couple days or even the beginning of the day tomorrow versus looking at the leaderboard on 14 or 15 when I could potentially have to change my game plan or how I'm going to attack the course. So that's all I can really do. I just need to go out and play my game. I have a lot of faith that if I do that then we're going to have a great chance tomorrow. But if I need to look at the leaderboard I will.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports