GOLF

‘Have the b**** to say I’m doing this for the money:’ Justin Thomas opens up on LIV

ADVERTISEMENT

Justin Thomas landed a stunt late last month at the US Open.

Getty Images

Justin Thomas, he would like you to know, is exhausted. And annoyed. And “over, of course”.

And even …

“It’s difficult,” said the fifth player in the world on the No immobilization podcast. “And I never thought I’d be lying in bed so many nights thinking about this fucking tour and what’s going on and stuff.”

If you’ve followed your golf news, even vaguely, you know what he’s talking about without us even naming the subject. You can get tired of it all, too, and that’s understandable. But the LIV Golf Series continues – it plays its second event this week in Portland – and the accompanying controversy has central figures like Thomas trying to make sense of it all for both himself and others. , no matter how much he would rather not.

No, JT won’t be playing in the Saudi-backed upstart series anytime soon; he’s as pro-PGA Tour as they come, but that, along with his lofty status – he also won his second major this year, the PGA – makes him a go-to source for his thoughts on the golf topic of the day, and No immobilization Podcast host Chris Solomon posed a thoughtful question to this:

How does Thomas see this role?

Good point. It’s a lot to take on. He replied, while diving into other thoughts of LIV. (This is where we advise you to listen to the entire podcast, which also discusses Thomas’ PGA victory, his relationship with his caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, and Will Zalatoris.)

“I go back and forth on how I should be involved, how involved I shouldn’t be, what I should say, what I shouldn’t say, what I want to say and what I know that I can’t say and come back and as a result of all these different things,” Thomas said on the podcast. “When it first happened and when it came out, guys, they’re gonna do this what they want to do, and yeah, would I wish they didn’t, but they’re entitled to their own opinion and decision and so be that kind of thing. And I still think that way, but Jimmy Dunne – did you read the article? “I thought he summed up everything that was going on here for me in there.

Bryson DeChambeau at Pumpkin Ridge.

As LIV’s golf revolution came to America, here’s what it felt like on the course

By:

Dylan Dethier



“I get that they’re fed up with all the good stuff and all that, but it’s just, for them to say it’s all for the betterment of the game and for them – I come, to be perfectly honest I just wish one of them had the guts to say I’m doing this for the money Like personally I’d gain a lot more respect for it But it’s just that the more people players keep talking and saying it’s for the betterment of the game the more agitated and irritated I get about it ’cause I can’t imagine for someone like me who’s only his seventh or eighth year on the Tour and how important the Tour is to me, compared to someone like Rory McIlroy, who I’m sure has had other opportunities to do something like that. You look at Tiger, who had God knows how many opportunities and things to do something like this, but their loyalty and everything they stood for and pushed for has been with this Tour.

“Like I know I feel that way, so I can’t imagine how strong they feel. I’m sure they feel betrayed and hurt because again, I kind of do. So the more I think about it, the more annoyed and agitated I get with the guys who did it. Again, so be it; they took their money and the Saudis reached their number but like I said I grew up my whole life wanting to play on the PGA Tour and play the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup and I thought that it wasn’t what it is, it’s sad, to be perfectly honest to me. And I just don’t ever want it to get to this point, which is why I feel like I’ve been vocal.

There’s a lot to unpack there – Thomas hears and blasts LIV’s talking points (you’ve no doubt had a lot of doubt about “growing the game”); Thomas wonders what the other stars are thinking; Thomas wonders about a lesser Tour. And betrayal, something you don’t hear much about in golf, and Solomon asked where that would come from.

“Well, because it hurts our tour,” Thomas said on the podcast. “And it hurts us. So I mean that’s the thing of – I heard someone who brought up a good point is that they say I’m sure at some point, you know, kind of there’s going to be a trial and if any of these guys that left to go play the other round chasing the Tour, they’re chasing me, they’re chasing Rory, they’re chasing Tiger, they’re chasing every single one of us that they’ve looked in the face, looked into the eyes and played golf with, played on Cup teams with, shared moments, whatever, with and they sue us.

“So for me, that’s where the betrayal and the upsetting, sad feelings kind of come from. Again, they’re doing what they clearly think is best for them, so they’re going to keep going that way in terms of lawsuits and so on but when someone said it that way it kinda hit home damn they do this for the Tour but they also do this to me because I’m part of this round.

Say what you want about all this, but Thomas is being sincere here. One could even say it bluntly.

LR vice-captains Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Zach Johnson and Jim Furyk pose for a photo after USA win the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

‘I’m done with this’: Fred Couples fires LIV Golf, Phil Mickelson

By:

Alan Bastable



That being said, Solomon then raised another interesting question:

“Do you think there’s more bad blood simmering under the surface on a lot of this stuff?”

At the Canadian Open, Thomas was asked something similar — and he replied, in part, that “I don’t hate DJ [Dustin Johnson] now – but more LIV events are being played, more Tour players are leaving, and the conversation doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

“I think it’s just one of those things where maybe if I walked past this person earlier and said, hey, or asked how they’re doing, I might not do it again,” Thomas said on the podcast. “It’s not like something where, you know, I flip the bird over to them, or I try to make their lives miserable by any means possible.

“I’m just, you know, it’s one of those things, you just, some people might not feel like they need to give the time of day anymore, that would be my only guess.”

golf review

Subscribe to the magazine

Subscribe

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is an editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories in the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is likely playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to clear his score. You can contact him about any of these topics – his stories, his game or his beers – at nick.piastowski@golf.com.

ADVERTISEMENT