‘I’ll hit shots like a No.1 player in the world’ – Justin Thomas Left Baffled At 2023 Open Championship

Justin Thomas,The 151st Open, Royal Liverpool,(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Justin Thomas,The 151st Open, Royal Liverpool,(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

‘I’ll hit shots like a No. 1 player in the world, and then I’ll make a 9.’ – – Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas knows the potential he has, but right now he is feeling baffled by his play on the course with potential Ryder Cup dreams dwindling with each passing day.

One year on from winning his second major at the 2022 PGA Championship, Thomas is in a dark place at the moment. Playing at the week’s 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, Justin saw his hopes of contending in the year’s final major evaporate almost instantly.

“I’m trying not to dwell on it or just — you never want to do it in any event, but it just sucks when it’s the first round of a major and you have no chance anymore,” Thomas said when speaking to the media at Royal Liverpool on Friday.

A little over a month after slumping to a second round-81 at the U.S. Open, during a round which he described as the ‘lowest he felt’, Thomas had a horrific opening round at this year’s Open Championship. An 82 on Thursday that was punctuated with a brutal 9 on the 18th, essentially guaranteed the two-time major champion’s week was over before it had hardly begun.

The difficulties in JT’s performances of late are compounded by an accompanying feeling of utter bewilderment. “There’s nobody that shot 82 that hit some of the quality shots that I did yesterday. It doesn’t make sense.” Thomas added. “I’ll hit shots like a No. 1 player in the world, and then I’ll make a 9 on my last hole of the tournament.”

"“I don’t know if it’s a focus thing or I’m just putting too much pressure on myself or what it is, but when I figure it out, I’ll be better for it.”   – – Justin Thomas"

The problem for Thomas is that pressure is growing with each and every passing moment. Having witnessed first-hand the trials and tribulations of good friends Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler in recent years, JT is now facing his own battle.

A spot in the upcoming FedEx Cup Playoffs is now anything but assured, and with each passing week, his place on the Ryder Cup team in Italy in September looks increasingly threatened.

Justin Thomas found himself at 75th in the FedEx Cup standings heading into the year’s final major, currently outside of the Top 70 who will advance to this year’s first leg of the playoffs at the FedEx St. Jude Championship in a couple of weeks. This after the PGA revised eligibility criteria for the playoffs in the last year and changed it from the Top 125 to 70.

His form this year and current standing in the FedEx Cup leaves Thomas needing to play in events that in previous years he may have elected to leave off his schedule; such as the Rocket Mortgage Classic a couple of weeks ago and next week’s 3M Open in Minnesota.

“I thought I — I used today as a good opportunity to get ready for next week, and I felt like I did that.” He added. “The golf in Minnesota is obviously slightly different than here in Liverpool.”

Justin Thomas admirably responded with a 71 on Friday.

Justin will need to put together two solid performances over the final two weeks of the regular season at the 3M Open and upcoming Wyndham Championship in order to climb back inside of the Top 70 in the FedEx Cup.

Thomas also is aware of how crucial these final two weeks will be for his 2023 Ryder Cup hopes as well.

“Yeah, like I said, I don’t want to put him in this position. I hate even having to hope for a pick.” Thomas added. “This is the first time since I first qualified that I’ve had to rely on a captain’s pick, and it’s not fun, especially when you’re trending the wrong way when other people are trending toward it.”

The good news for Justin Thomas is that, at least for now, he still has U.S. Captain Zach Johnson’s confidence with the Ryder Cup on the near horizon.


Next. The Peaks and Valleys of My Golf Game. dark

That decision could become increasingly more difficult for the U.S. Ryder Cup Captain in the coming weeks. Let’s hope Justin Thomas rediscovers his form just in the nick of time.