Justin Thomas didn’t want to talk about missed cuts, his mastery of match play or even the story behind the naming of The Concession Golf Club, which he said he’d never heard before.
Thomas was more concerned about Tiger Woods, his Presidents Cup captain, his mentor and one of his closest friends. Just 10-15 minutes earlier he’d learned that Woods was involved in a single-car accident in California.
“I’m sick to my stomach,” he said as his eyes began to water. “You know, it hurts to see one of your – now one of my closest friends get in an accident. Man, I just hope he’s all right. Just worry for his kids, you know. I’m sure they’re struggling.”
Thomas, who is set to play the WGC-Workday Championship this week, did his best to maintain his composure and answer the remaining handful of questions, but it was clear his head was elsewhere. He’s already endured being embroiled in controversy after using a homophobic slur at a golf tournament in Hawaii in January and learned of the death of his grandfather, Paul Thomas, 89, while competing in Phoenix. The World No. 3 has missed the cut in two of his last three starts worldwide.
“It’s been a tough year. I mean, self-inflicted, but yeah, it’s been tough,” he said. “It’s a part of life, stuff happens. I’ve been working on myself and I’ve made great strides, I feel like, in becoming a better, stronger man with the mistakes that I made.
“It’s unfortunate what happened with my grandpa and yeah, just like I said, I hope Tiger’s all right. I’ve just got to get back to worry about playing golf and try to do as good as I can because that’s the only thing that I can control.”
At the moment, Thomas was more concerned with what he couldn’t control and that was the status of his good friend Woods.