Justin Thomas spoke about his current world ranking before the CJ Cup and how a recent phone call from Tiger Woods initially confused him.
Justin Thomas appears to still be upset with his current world ranking as he prepares to make his season debut on the PGA Tour at the CJ Cup as he revealed a recent phone call from Tiger Woods initially baffled him.
Thomas, 29, is a two-time winner of this event and he will be making his 200th start on the circuit at Congaree Golf Club on Thursday.
Speaking to the media shortly after Rory McIlroy pushed back on Phil Mickelson’s comments and Tom Kim gate-crashed the press conference, Thomas conceded that he still “doesn’t appreciate” his current position as No. 8 in the world.
Thomas, who claimed his second major earlier in the summer at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills, was asked his about his motivation this season especially at this time of year.
It’s been a frantic few months with the FedEx Cup Playoffs, the Presidents Cup and he is due to marry Jillian Wisniewski soon. Rickie Fowler, who Butch Harmon thinks will return to top form once again, will be one of his groomsmen.
So what is his expectation?
“To play well,” Thomas told the media. “I mean, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know if — irritated is not the right word. I guess you could just say hungry.
“I feel like I have a lot of guys ahead of me in the world rankings and it’s not that I don’t appreciate it, but I would rather them not be there. It’s nothing on them, but it’s more of a me problem than it is a them problem.
“Like I said, I just, I’m very hungry to start winning more golf tournaments. I felt for the majority of the year last year I played some really solid consistent golf, but I just didn’t win enough.”
He continued: “You have to win more to be at the top of the rankings and I just didn’t do that. [I] just need to practice more and keep hammering it, and I think that’s something to try to get off to a good start for the season this week.”
Thomas also took the time to praise Freddie Couples who beat his age on the PGA Tour Champions last week with a 12-under 60 to claim the SAS Championship. It was his first win in five years.
Apparently, Thomas was watching NFL when Tiger Woods rang him as Couples was going crazy low.
“Yeah, yeah, I was following a little bit and then was watching the — that Chiefs-Bills game was on and like I schedule my whole day of practice around it because I couldn’t wait to watch it.
“I think he was on 17 or 18 and Tiger called me and he’s like, ‘Are you watching this?’
“I’m like, ‘Yeah, pretty good game.’ He’s like, ‘No, Freddie’s 11 under and he’s playing 18.’
“[The] last I looked he was like 9 or 10 under, he was winning by a million. No offense to Fred, love him to death, but he was going to win. I was more interested in watching the football game.
“So I turned it on and watched him stripe it off 18 tee, stiff an iron shot and make the putt.
“[I] talked to him some after. He jokes this is the best putting week of his life. We kept saying to him, you keep playing like that, you’ll be just fine at the Masters next year, you’ll be able to start playing Tour events again.
“No, he’s the best. He’s so fun to be around and just joke with. I was — I mean, it’s pretty cool to do what he did at what, 63 years old? I should say 63 years young. We’re all happy for him.”