Interview With Justin Thomas (Semis)


By USGA
August 18, 2012

PETE KOWALSKI:  We'd like to welcome Justin Thomas, our semifinalist, lost his match 3 & 2 to Michael Weaver who was making birdies.  Justin, that was probably tough for you to watch, but you did probably as good as you can, but when you're getting faced with birdie by birdie by birdie like that, that had to be tough for you.

JUSTIN THOMAS:  Yeah, it was very tough.

PETE KOWALSKI:  You had a lot of birdies thrown at you by Michael.  How did you battle through that?

JUSTIN THOMAS:  Obviously I didn't battle through it well enough.  But yeah, although it hurts a lot to lose, especially this late in the tournament, but it's a lot better to get beat than lose.

I mean I'm going to take a lot of positives from this week.  Obviously not now.  I'm still down and very disappointed and upset that I'm not playing tomorrow but there's nothing I can do about it now and just looking forward to starting college off again.

PETE KOWALSKI:  Questions for Justin?

Q.  Just take me through how you were feeling as you started to make a rally on the back nine.

JUSTIN THOMAS:  It was awesome.  I mean I'd been down all week, and you know, I knew I could come back with 5 down through 10 against a player like Michael, when he was playing as well as he was, there's just not enough holes.

But I mean I was very proud of myself that I just gave myself a chance.  I very easily could have just packed it in and not even had a chance.  And I had a legitimate chance to make it to the finals, two down, three to go and had a perfect tee shot, perfect second shot and a really good putt on 16.  If I made that, who knows what he does with his.  So it was awesome.  I was obviously getting really pumped up.  I was just trying to get in the moment and trying to rally up the momentum a little bit, but I was just too down, I was too far down too late in the match.

Q.  On the 7th hole there was an opportunity for you to come into the start of this week and unfortunately the putt didn't fall there.  Can you talk about that from the standpoint of do you feel like that maybe could have stopped his momentum a little bit?

JUSTIN THOMAS:  Yeah.  That was definitely a huge putt.  7, 8, 9 I really played well this week.  I won at least two to three, I think, almost every match.  And you know, that's kind of where I started to turn it on each day, and I had a good tee shot and good second shot in there.  I hit a good putt, just a little too hard.  If I would have made that, who knows what would have happened, but then he makes that 40‑footer on the next hole and that kind of really put a damper on things, but like I said I was happy I hung in there.

Q.  Did you change your strategy or did you have the same kind of strategy starting off the round on Wednesday, especially with the first hole?

JUSTIN THOMAS:  Well, No. 1 is not my friend.  I played it like ‑‑ I played it like nine over or something.  I mean for some reason I just don't play that hole very well.

But yeah, I was just trying to ‑‑ I mean most matches pars are going to win, but obviously it wasn't today since he made like six birdies or something.  But I was just trying to get in the middle of the greens.  The big thing was I just wanted opportunities to make birdies.  I just wanted to putt because the greens are so perfect you can make it from anywhere.  So I just wanted to give myself putts.  I just didn't hit it well to start the round, so I didn't give myself any putts and opportunities, and that hurt me.  But I guess, you know, obviously, oh well.

Q.  Just a little housekeeping, your club selection on 15, the par‑3 and then your club and yardage into 16?

JUSTIN THOMAS:  Hit gap wedge on 15.  I think it was like I think ‑‑ we played it 123 we tried to hit it.  And yeah, that was a really hard pin.  When I first saw it, I didn't think it was until I got up there and realized how tough that pin was.

16, hit 9‑iron, just a little choke‑up 9‑iron and tried to hit that one about ‑‑ tried to hit that 153.  I don't remember the yardages because of the 10 percent with everything.  I don't even remember the originals anymore, but tried to hit it about 153 on 16.

Q.  Justin, how well did you know Michael?  Did you know him before the amateurs started?

JUSTIN THOMAS:  Yeah, I knew him.  I didn't know him as well as some other people, but I'd never played with him.  You know, I know him now, I guess last answer.

PETE KOWALSKI:  Any more questions for Justin?  Well, congratulations on your great play.  Good luck to you in the fall season.  We appreciate everything you did with us this week.

JUSTIN THOMAS:  Thank you.

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