Sights and sounds of Torrey Pines endear Justin Thomas

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Justin Thomas - TheGolfingHub
Justin Thomas is in a three-way for the lead at the Farmers Insurance Open after Round 2. Photo: businesswire.com

Excerpts from Justin Thomas’ interview after he shot a 9-under to tie for the lead at the Farmers Insurance Open

JT, really solid round of golf. You were disappointed at the ninth, you had a good look for birdie, but 9 under, just a super round of golf.

Justin Thomas: Yeah, thanks. I played well, I drove it well, something you’ve got to do out here on the North Course. I mean, both courses, but if you drive it well, you’ve got a lot of wedges, a lot of short holes, four par 5s. Made some nice putts when I needed to, just kind of some of those short mid rangers and it was a solid day.

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Short game is really good. Tell me about the chip-in at 2. You had a couple of different clubs there, I guess deciding on how to hit the shot and you hit it right because it went right in the heart.

Justin: Yeah, it’s bizarre because the two greens are very different between the two courses so they react very different. These greens don’t quite grab as much on the chips and the pitches, so unfortunately I hit it well to the first 10 holes where I hadn’t hit a chip yet. So I tried to remember it’s the same as the chipping green, tried to kind of remember some of that and just felt like the 57-degree was a little better option and it was.

You were 5 under making the turn yesterday (Wednesday), kind of struggled on those 9 but got the birdie at 18, 5 under making the turn today, but really kept the pedal to the metal.

Justin: Yeah, obviously two completely different golf courses and different nines. That back nine on the South course is very challenging and I just missed a couple fairways that I needed to hit. Those greens just got really, really bumpy at the end of the day. That’s just what poa annua does and you have to be a little bit cautious and defensive on some of the ones that usually would try to make. Yeah, I was very pleased. Obviously I would have loved to be at 6 or 7 under, but I’ll never be upset with a 4 under on Torrey South.

Looked like you hit a lot of fairways out there. Were you pretty much in total command of your game would you say?

Justin: Not total, but I was in very good control. There’s still some shots that didn’t come off how I would have liked, but for the most part I was hitting it a lot more solid, the ball was starting in the window I wanted. I played solidly.

Are you more surprised than ever that you haven’t made this a regular stop?

Justin: I mean, no. It’s just unfortunately like a lot of events. Jon (Rahm) and I were talking about it today, we were talking about Tampa and he said how much he likes that golf course but just hasn’t fit in his schedule and that’s how this place has been for me. I really like the golf course, but it just hasn’t fit in the schedule. Without playing Sony this year, it did. And there’s a lot of unbelievable events out here that we all would love to play, but we’ve got to take some time off for our sanity sometimes.

 

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I remember you saying that driving was something that you felt let you down last year. This might be a stupid question, but how do you work on your driving? What did you do differently?

Justin: I mean, really just reps, just hitting more. I think it’s easy to just go hit a couple drives on the range. It’s not like a distance control where you’re trying to hit a certain number or anything like that, it’s trying to get the consistency of getting my club, for me, going a little bit left through impact where it’s going to start a little left and cut and just try to almost create a little bit of muscle memory for me. Really just hitting more and trying to get used to seeing a ball flight to where the misses are not as bad.

 

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Are you hitting it longer?

Justin: Maybe a little bit, but it’s hard to tell here, ball doesn’t go very hard.

Does it really help playing with guys who are shooting 65 and 68?

Justin: Yeah, I mean, I would have to think. It’s probably easier to say no because I was in my own zone and kind of doing my own thing, but I’ve also been on the other side where nobody can get anything going and it really is tough when you can’t get the group mo. All of us, it’s not like we did anything special, we weren’t like holing long putts. Obviously had a chip-in and we made one or two here or there over the course of two days, but all of us played solid and kind of plodded our way around and we had a hell of a group score.

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