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Golf Monthly
Golf Monthly
Paul Higham

Thomas 'Very Close' To Finding Form As He Starts Crucial Two Weeks

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas does not believes he's in a slump just yet, and believes he's close to finding some form as he embraces the grind of playing an extra two weeks to ensure he makes the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Thomas wasn't originally planning on playing at the 3M Open in Minnesota this week or in next week's Wyndham Championship, but sitting down at 75 in the standings he needs points to make the top 70 and qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs.

The two-time Major champion also needs to show some sort of form to encourage captain Zach Johnson to pick him for the USA Ryder Cup team - something which right now people such as Brad Faxon don't think will happen.

For now, though, Thomas just wants to avoid missing the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in his professional career - which is why he's added two extra events to his schedule.

"I mean, I'm playing both weeks, I'm playing this week and next week. They weren't originally on the schedule, but things change and you have to adjust sometimes," said Thomas.

"The way that the playoffs, the format is now with it being 70, 50, 30, you know, in the past I may just be able to rely on a good first event or two in the playoffs, but the way it is now, you have to play some good golf to be in the playoffs and I haven't exactly done that so far. So I have two weeks to get myself in a good spot."

Thomas missed the cut at the Open Championship - his third Major missed cut this season - after a career-worst 82 in the opening round at Royal Liverpool - but he remains positive of a turnaround.

"I'm very, very close. I feel like I'm just right there to kind of like break it through a little inner confidence or mojo, if you will," Thomas insisted.

"I mean, I'm not going to get that at home sitting on the couch, so I need to - personally feel like I just kind of need to play my way through it a little bit.

"This just goes to show I think this is to me - first off, this is an unbelievable opportunity for me, kind of behind the eight-ball and my end goal is to make the Tour Championship like it is every year. It's not like I'm just playing to try to get into the first playoffs event. I want to be in Atlanta and I'm going to have to get there somehow.

"This is a good chance for me to learn a little bit about myself and push myself and become better. I mean, this game, nothing's given to you. I've had great chances to win the FedEx Cup the last five or six years and now I'm trying to make the playoffs.

"That's just the way that this sport is. And it can happen to anybody, so you've just got to go out and get it and that's what I'm going to do these last two weeks."

Justin Thomas missed his third Major cut of the year at The Open (Image credit: Getty Images)

Thomas says he has spoken to his close friends Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler about their own struggles for form - although he doesn't want to call it a slump as yet.

"Look, you never want to compare, and I don't want to say anything that makes what they went through better or worse than it was," Thomas said.

"I'm not in that position yet. I shouldn't say "yet." I don't plan to be. I'm top 20 whatever player in the world and I won a Major championship just a little over a year ago. I feel fine. I mean, I'm still doing a lot of things well.

"Obviously, the results aren't there. And I'm also very fortunate that this run of golf for six months, whatever it is, I feel like the reason it's being viewed as it is is because of the player that I am and I take a lot of pride in that.

"But I also know that at the same time I'm the kind of player that I can get out of it just fine. I have a lot of faith and belief in myself to know that this is just a challenge and an opportunity for me to grow and get better and really come out of this even better than I have been in the past."

Thomas also paid tribute to his caddie Jim 'Bones' Mackay, who has been trying to stop him being so hard on himself throughout this tough run.

"It's tough. I mean, caddies, they just have such a hard job, right, because they're damned if they do, damned if they don't," Thomas said.

"I think the thing that I respect and love so much about Bones is just how much he cares. He would do absolutely anything in the world if it meant that we were going to shoot one stroke better this week or if I was going to feel that much better. That's really all I could ask for in a caddie.

"He's there with me through all of this and we're both - not only am I going to come out better from it, but he is, too. 

"He's just very supportive and very - constantly reminded me of I'm pretty hard on myself at times and get down on myself; just kind of reminded me of who I am, what I've done and what I'm capable of. 

"And every once in a while I need that. It's definitely good to have him beside me in the fairways, it's a good person to have on your team."

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