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May 19, 2022

Justin Thomas

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Southern Hills Country Club

Flash Quotes


JOHN DEVER: Welcome back to the 2022 PGA Championship here at Southern Hills Golf Club, Tulsa, Oklahoma. We're with Justin Thomas who put forth a 3-under par 67 today. Justin, that birdie on the 18th had to be a nice cherry on top for what was a really solid round of golf in some adverse conditions today.

JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I'd call any birdie on 18 a steal. It's a hole that you would beginning of the week gladly take four pars on and probably lap the field quite a bit. To finish the day with a 3 there was a great bonus and a nice end to a solid fight out there.

Q. You've obviously been playing some pretty good golf, but it seems like some of your best golf has come in tough conditions. Why do you think that is?

JUSTIN THOMAS: I think it's because I focus a lot more on what I'm trying to do in terms of the shot I'm trying to hit, the trajectory, the distance, and think less about golf swing.

I think I really wasn't pleased with how my range sessions have gone this week and just how I've felt over the ball, and I got a little frustrated yesterday with my dad, and I'm just trying to figure out how to feel better over the ball.

Then he was like, well, let's just start trying to hit some shots, like put a stick out, like let's hit some fades, hit some draws, and then immediately just started flushing it and hitting it how I wanted.

It's one of those things I pretty much need to suck it up and stop trying to -- at this stage when I'm out there playing a competitive round I can't try to get my club in certain positions and whatnot, and I think when I get in conditions like this, I just get out there and I try to hit shots and try to hit numbers as opposed to trying to get it in a certain position and going from there.

That's something I really tried to do today, and I feel that it worked pretty well.

Q. You said you got frustrated; was that about not getting it in the proper position or specific stuff like that?

JUSTIN THOMAS: I mean, I was just hitting it terrible. I wasn't hitting the middle of the face. I wasn't hitting the shots I wanted. Just feeling bad over the ball is obviously not a very good feeling.

I didn't necessarily feel great over it today, but I felt good enough to where I could do somewhat of what I wanted. I mean, that's the big thing; it's just the time when you're off or the practice range or the prep days or times when you can try to work on stuff, but when you get out there, it's game time, and it's time to just try to get it in the hole as soon as you can.

Q. How are you feeling physically? It looked like you might have been a little under the weather earlier in the week.

JUSTIN THOMAS: Do I sound pretty good?

Q. You sound amazing.

JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I definitely don't feel my best, but I feel better than I sound. I felt terrible Tuesday; felt a little better yesterday; and then feel a little better today.

I'm just -- I guess the allergies here are just crushing me. I felt like I had a sinus infection coming in, but I think I've kind of fought it off. But yeah, just slightly congested.

Q. A couple guys in here have talked about the difficulties of the bunkers this week. I don't know if the sand is a little more pebbly or what are you finding in there?

JUSTIN THOMAS: It's definitely the hardest sand I've -- the most challenging sand I've ever played in just because, first off, it's not very consistent. Like on 8 today, I told Bones it was wild, like my left foot when I was kind of digging in, it was like a little bare I could feel, and then my right foot was like pretty good, like normal, and under my ball was like hitting off this.

Some of them have no sand; some of them are good sand, whatever it is. But then when you do it's very pebbly, and sometimes you can kind of get them between the face and the ball and just see them shoot up and off line. I'm sure you've seen from watching the coverage, it's really difficult to get spin; basically impossible.

Some of those bunkers shots that are generally pretty easy or guaranteed up-and-downs definitely is not the case this week.

Q. Just curious, how do you think a younger version of yourself who maybe hadn't been practicing shot making as much would have handled something like not feeling comfortable over the ball or not able to revert to being a bit of an artist out there?

JUSTIN THOMAS: Probably not well. I mean, I think that's just a part of evolving as a player and a person. I would like to hope at 29 I'm more mature than when I was 23 or 24, and I would like to think and hope that my game has developed, as well. I think a lot of people would say the same.

I just think it's one of those things, the more times you get yourself in a situation, hopefully the more you learn, and to where when you get in situations like this, you're able to kind of drawback on past experiences.

Q. Two unrelated things: We talked obviously at the Masters about unfocused in the first round. What did you do today to kind of lock in for the opening round of a major?

JUSTIN THOMAS: I mean, I didn't do anything different. I did all my normal routine kind of stuff.

I think sometimes either not feeling my best with my game or physically. Sometimes it makes me feel like I almost need to focus a little bit more just because I know that I don't have my best stuff and I can't afford to get lazy.

I just mentally need to be fully there and sharp.

I think Bones knew that going in, and I felt like we did a good job of being very specific and very -- just very, very small targets and specific in the shots where we wanted to start, land, yardages, stuff like that, to where the more I could do that, the more I could hone in.

Q. It's obviously such a unique relationship with your dad as your swing coach. How do you guys navigate some of those potentially tense moments that you have, like you had on the range?

JUSTIN THOMAS: It's a lot different. I get pissed at him sometimes, and I think as a dad he doesn't want to -- he's not going to go full Butch Harmon or Pete Cowan and tell me I suck or that's not very good or whatever it is, and sometimes I would love for him to say that just because I want to hear it.

I mean, I have to remind him sometimes, you're not my dad out here, you're my swing coach, and I need you to tell me if something is wrong. I don't need my ego boosted. I'm here to try to win a golf tournament and play well, so do your job kind of thing.

It's gotten a lot better over the last couple years, but it's like any player-coach relationship. You need that accountability, I think.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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