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May 17, 2024

Justin Thomas

Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Valhalla Golf Club

Flash Quotes

THE MODERATOR: Justin Thomas is with us now at the 106th PGA Championship. 4-under today, 6-under overall. How are you feeling heading into the weekend?

JUSTIN THOMAS: A little tired at the moment. No, I feel great. My game feels good. I played really, really well today. I felt it's nice to get off to a good start and kind of get the crowd into it a little bit.

Definitely would have liked to make some more birdies on that back nine, but I made a nice one there on 15, a good up-and-down on 16. I feel like I'm doing a lot of really good things, I just have to just kind of keep doing what I'm doing and hope we can get on another run and shoot a low one this weekend.

Q. How has the week gone so far in terms of what you were expecting with where you are, meaning Louisville, not 6-under?

JUSTIN THOMAS: It's been better than I thought somehow. I've enjoyed it. It's been very -- I've felt less nerves than I thought I would. I've really, honestly, I talked to Keegan about playing in Boston because I love Keegan to death but I think we all know he's a pretty nervy, jittery kind of guy, and he played really well at the U.S. Open at Boston at The Country Club. I asked how he dealt with it or what he did and he said he just, he looked around, he just looked everywhere, he took it in, embraced the support, which I feel like is kind of opposite of what you hear from some people, like you need to block it out, just stay.

But I mean, I think I said it maybe even yesterday is I feel like I've never had this many people actually rooting for me, so I'm going to enjoy it for all it's worth, because it's been fun.

Q. How aware were you of all the things that were going on this morning even though you didn't have to be here that early?

JUSTIN THOMAS: I woke up at 8:45, if that tells you anything. It was quite a wake-up, to say the least. I found out pretty quick.

Q. Did you see the stuff with Scottie in the orange jumpsuit and the whole nine yards?

JUSTIN THOMAS: I think that stuff makes its way around everywhere. The internet is a wild place, so there's plenty of stuff that's out there and I saw some of it.

Q. Have you had to manage anything as far as like ticket requests or people saying like, hey, Justin, you're in town, let's hang out? Like has there been any of that or anything that you've done specifically to manage that stuff?

JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I changed my phone number last week. That helped quite a bit. (Laughing). Don't really have too many of those requests.

Q. You look at this board, you look at the conditions, what's it take for you going into the weekend?

JUSTIN THOMAS: I feel like mentally and strategically I need to go into it way more like I did today. I think I sometimes in major championships feel like I have to play the correct way and have to not short-side myself, have to do all these things, and in reality if I feel like I'm swinging like I was most of the day yesterday and especially today, and it's this soft, there really wasn't very many pins I wasn't aiming at.

15 I think was a prime example. That's a 3-wood pretty much all day, but the wind off the right I felt good about hitting the driver because I felt like that was going to give me a shorter club, which was going to give me a better chance to make birdie. That's what I did.

So within reason, not being stupid, not pushing the envelope just because I feel like I can, but feeling like my game is in the place where I can, and I just need to -- just literally I'm just trying to make as many birdies as I can.

Q. Was there any part of you, I know it's Friday, when you have the good fortune of playing next to a guy who is on a heater, to make sure you didn't get too far behind him? Does that help at all?

JUSTIN THOMAS: I would say so. I think, I mean, I think we've maybe fed off each other a little bit on the front nine and then I think we both stalled a little on the back nine. He's a great person to play with because he does everything you would want in a playing partner. He executes the shots he's trying to hit and he -- I feel like he hits it where you're supposed to. You have a good idea in terms of distance of off the tee or into the greens, and he rolls the ball arguably better than anybody, if you need a read or something like that off of him. So it's someone that's, it's great to play with because sometimes if you're maybe not feeling it you can kind of get some mo off of him.

Q. We never really know the scores you guys are going to shoot until you go out and shoot them, but they are low. I'm curious if the scoreability of the course, did it match what you thought it would be coming into the week?

JUSTIN THOMAS: If it was this soft, I knew it would. It just doesn't matter what golf course you put us on on planet earth; if the greens are soft we're going to tear it up. It just doesn't have any, anything to defend itself.

I think you look at some places where guys are getting the ball up-and-down, and I know from where I've watched it just totally changes how you play the golf course, but also as talented and as good as we are of hitting our numbers and the ball's going to stay right where it hits on the greens. Or as good as our short games are, the ball's not going to roll very far on the green. It totally changes how the golf course is played.

So if it continues that way, it's going to keep being pretty, kind of fire at the pins all weekend.

Q. Does it ever disappoint you or would you prefer it a different way if you could?

JUSTIN THOMAS: I definitely would prefer it on the harder side, but I think you just, there's obviously nothing you can do about the weather, and I mean, I know Kerry does an unbelievable job with the PGA setting up golf courses. He always has. So I think he's going to do the best he can with what he has.

The rough's going to continue to get a little thicker, and hopefully we can get some good weather on the weekend and can maybe just get a little bit, a little bit firmer, but at the end of the day there's nothing we can do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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