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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Justin Thomas, with 2 late additions to his schedule, has tons to play for

Justin Thomas missed the minimize at The Open, and he has two weeks to try to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs (plus add to a Ryder Cup resume).

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Justin Thomas is aware of he must pad his resume for the upcoming Ryder Cup. However to do this he must play in additional tournaments. However to do this he must qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs. And to do this he must enter extra tournaments.

Are you following?

Thomas, the No. 24 golfer on the earth, is essentially the most adorned participant on this week’s 3M Open in Blaine, Minn., after he was a late addition to the sphere. He additionally added subsequent week’s Wyndham Championship, the final PGA Tour occasion of the common season, to his enjoying schedule.

In case you are sensing a theme, it’s as a result of the two-time main winner is No. 75 within the FedEx Cup standings, and he wants begins to get sufficient factors to qualify for the playoffs — one thing he’s by no means missed in his earlier eight seasons on Tour.

The highest 70 qualify for the primary of three playoff occasions, the FedEx St. Jude Championship, with 50 qualifying for the BMW Championship and 30 for the Tour Championship.

“Previously I may have the ability to depend on an excellent first occasion or two within the playoffs, however the best way it’s now, it’s a must to play some good golf to be within the playoffs, and I haven’t precisely completed that thus far,” Thomas mentioned Tuesday on the 3M Open, the place he’s making his match debut. “So I’ve two weeks to get myself in a great place.”

Thomas missed the minimize finally week’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, his destiny sealed by an opening-round 82, his highest profession rating in a significant. He shot 71 on Friday, however the harm was already completed. It was his third missed minimize in a significant this season.

Whereas he’s been annoyed together with his play, he chalked up Thursday’s 82 as a fluke.

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“I made two doubles and a quad, proper? That’s actually center faculty golf-type stuff,” he mentioned. “I’m method too good of a participant to be doing stuff like that. I don’t know if it’s an absence of focus or self-discipline or no matter. I performed actually good golf on Friday. It’s a bit totally different whenever you’re simply delivery driver round there in every single place and also you’re simply type of hoping for the perfect. I knew I wanted to go shoot seven, eight, 9 underneath, however I’ve full perception that I can do this.”

Thomas obtained to Minnesota on Saturday afternoon however took the weekend off from enjoying golf. He mentioned he watched each shot of The Open and even the end of the Barracuda in a while Sunday. He discovered time to do laundry and get a exercise in, too.

He thinks his sport is shut and that he’s enjoying higher golf than the scores point out. He cited rounds of 64 and 62 on the Vacationers Championship final month that show it. He tied for ninth that week, however that’s his solely occasion within the final seven that’s been a end higher than T60.

The opposite storyline right here is, after all, the Ryder Cup. Thomas has not been shy about how a lot the occasion means to him, however after Brian Harman shot up the rankings together with his win in Hoylake, Thomas now sits 14th within the standings. The highest six after the BMW Championship auto qualify, and captain Zach Johnson will title his six captain’s picks after the Tour Championship.

Thomas’ success within the occasion — 6-2-1 file, and 16-5-3 total together with Presidents Cups — will make it laborious for Johnson to miss him, however a few good weeks in Minnesota and North Carolina to safe a playoff berth and one other begin or two could be precisely the enhance his resume wants.

Though if these two weeks don’t go nicely and he misses the playoffs, then the dialog will get trickier. Johnson and Thomas additionally shared a rental finally week’s Open, and Johnson was requested a number of questions on Thomas’ standing following Thursday’s 82.

“Backside line is that this sport is basically laborious. There’s going to be peaks. There’s going to be some valleys,” Johnson mentioned. “Let’s hope no matter form of non-peak he’s in, it’s brief. I do know he’s obtained an awesome staff. I like his coaches. I like how he works. He’s a employee. Guys with expertise like that that work and aren’t afraid to place their work within the grime, if you’ll, to not be cliche, usually discover it. It’s only a matter of when, not if. He’s too darned good.”

Thomas is grouped with Joel Dahmen and Gary Woodland for the primary two rounds of the 3M Open. Their Spherical 1 tee time is 1:54 p.m. ET.

“It is a good likelihood for me to be taught a bit bit about myself and push myself and change into higher,” Thomas mentioned. “I imply, this sport, nothing’s given to you.”

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at GOLF.com. The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism diploma from Minnesota State College in Mankato. You may attain him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.

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