August 18, 2022
Wilmington, Delaware, USA
Wilmington Country Club
Q. Good playing, 5-under in the first round. Just an opening comment on your round, please.
JUSTIN THOMAS: I played really solid. I felt like I managed my game really well. I didn't have total control of my ball. I didn't drive it as well as I would have liked or wedged it as well as I would have liked, but I putted the ball the best I have in a very, very, very long time. I mean, even every putt I missed, I hit it exactly where I wanted to and it looked like it had a chance to go in. It was nice for it to feel comfortable and hit the speed that I wanted on my putts and see some of those fall.
Q. What's it like when you go to a new playoff venue that you haven't seen in the Playoffs before? Is there any kind of an adjustment period for a guy like yourself?
JUSTIN THOMAS: No, I'd seen the golf course before from the Palmer Cup. I don't remember a lot about it but at least I had seen it, so I would say that can't hurt versus other guys.
But it's just golf. You see the fairways, you know where you've got to hit it and you've got to execute the shot to hit it in the fairway, and then if you do that you're able to attack, or if not you have to play a little bit of defense and try to make a par.
Although I understand what you're saying in terms of not seeing the place and maybe knowing some of the subtle nuances, but at the end of the day you've got to hit the fairway, hit the green and make some putts.
Q. Speaking of the golf course here, what aspects do you feel like they have here that make it perfect for a playoff?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I think it has the chance to be difficult. If it gets firm and fast this weekend, it could play a very championship-like golf course. If the fairways continue to get firm and you drive the ball well, you can have some short clubs and make some birdies.
I think you're going to see a lot of volatility in the scores every day. You're going to see some 4-, 5-, 6-unders and you're probably going to see some 3-, 4-, 5-overs.
Q. I've heard this described as a sibling to Caves Valley. Is that accurate, and if so, is it the big brother or the little brother?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I don't know, I guess it depends on -- I guess I'd say it's the bigger but smaller-sized brother. Caves Valley is a larger -- I think this is a better golf course, but Caves Valley is larger, the fairways are massive, the greens are huge. That's just my opinion of it. What, 27-under par won, so it's a bit of a birdie-fest for my liking.
It definitely has some characteristics of it. I think it's just the elevation on the tee shots. You hit down a good bit on some tee shots like you did at Caves Valley and same kind of up. It is a big golf course, don't get me wrong, but I think Caves holds its own in terms of --
Q. Do you like 12 as a par-5? Is it at all practical to get there in two ever?
JUSTIN THOMAS: To be honest, no, I don't think it's a very good hole from that tee. I think it's very similar to 16 at Akron. I think it would be such a better hole from up close. For guys from that tee, I can't imagine you maybe have a Rory or Rahm, Cameron Young that maybe try to go for the green on their second shot, but it's 285 off a down sideslope to a small green with out-of-bounds left, and right is really not that great.
To me it's just basically playing like a little par-3 today, whereas if they moved the tee up, even if you're hitting a 5- or 4-iron, it's a hard shot off of a downslope, a sideslope. It's hard to hit the fairway. Seems to me like you would have a lot more 3s and maybe some more 6s and 7s. I feel like today you're just going to have a lot of 5s, a couple 4s, maybe a couple 6s. Yeah, I don't think it's great from that tee.
Q. What did you make?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I made 5.
Q. You mentioned the word "birdie-fest." There's still people in Chicago that talk about how great you played at Medinah in this tournament a couple years ago. Have you heard about the massive renovation that's coming that people say you inspired with your great play that week?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Well, it doesn't matter how hard a golf course is; if it's going to be ball-in-hand and it's soft, we're going to tear it up. All of us went into that week after playing practice rounds and we thought 5-, 7-, 8-under was going to win the tournament, but it was just so soft. The course had no defense. If you miss the fairway, it's a lot easier up-and-down. The fairways are so much easier to hold in the hard doglegs. I would hope that the renovations weren't made because of that, but obviously I think a lot of the golf course. Hopefully we'll go to it down the road and check it out again.
Q. I'm sure you'll look forward to playing the Presidents Cup there a couple years down the road?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, absolutely, a lot of good memories for sure.
Q. How did the new putter feel today, and why the change from the one you used at the PGA?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it felt great. It was the best I've putted in an extremely long time. Every single putt I hit was exactly where I wanted, the speed I wanted it. It was nice. I hadn't felt that in a while.
I switched because it was the exact same feel. Scottie did an unbelievable job. It's very difficult to make putters the exact same in terms of feel. They may be the same but none of them are ever the same in terms of clubs in general. But it feels identical, so getting adjusted and acclimated to the speed wasn't difficult, but just being a little bit shorter was so much easier for me to get in a good setup. That's something we looked at earlier this year and we were going to mess with this off-season, but I haven't been putting great for how I feel like I should be, and it was just one of those things. I'm like, if this is going to be an easy adjustment that's going to help me improve, then why wouldn't I do it.
Q. Is that shorter playing length or shorter hosel?
JUSTIN THOMAS: No, it's a shorter playing length. It's a half inch shorter.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports