Justin Thomas has played solid golf at Torrey Pines over the years, but I see 2023 marking the time he finally truly contends.
JT has made two of three cuts at the Farmers Insurance Open and one at the 2021 U.S. Open, all of which were between 10th and 20th place.
"“I really like this golf course, I don’t know why I don’t play more. It’s just one of those things in the scheduling, hadn’t worked out,” Thomas was transcribed by Tee Scripts in 2022. “And playing two golf courses is obviously a little bit more difficult, but I mean great part about this place, my first-ever PGA TOUR top-10 was here, so I definitely have a lot of great memories.”"
Last year, Thomas got off to a hot start by shooting 68 at the South course and 63 at the North. It didn’t sustain. Rounds of 73 and 74 on the weekend dropped him to T-20th. He entered Sunday in the top five.
He was T-6th in the field last year in birdies (21) and made no double bogeys or worse.
The Kentuckian enters the week off of two weeks of rest. Thomas’ last start resulted in T-25th at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
He’s got the distance to keep up at the big ballparks in play this week. Thomas ranked 14th on the PGA Tour last season in driving distance (314.3).
He was eighth in strokes gained on approach (.696) last season and was top-three in proximity from all categories from 50-175 yards.
He’s hungry for a win having gone dry since last year’s PGA Championship. Getting it done at a non-designated event like this is a good spot to try to do it.