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Justin Thomas believes he could be leading Valspar Championship if his putting was on point

PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Justin Thomas simply completed beating himself up as soon as once more for his putting woes earlier than he walked to the observe space with his dad/coach, Mike, and caddie, Jimmy Johnson.

For about half-hour, he labored on his irons, his driver and, lastly, his putting.

“If I’m putting well this week, I’m winning this tournament without question,” Justin stated.

It’s about right here you may anticipate to learn the No. 2 golfer on the earth melted down Saturday on the Valspar Championship. Maybe rushed a few gimmes or completed with a few double bogeys on two of the ultimate three holes like the one golfer forward of him on the earth rankings, Dustin Johnson, did Saturday.

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But Thomas carded a 4-under 67 regardless of a bogey on No. 18 and is 6 beneath getting into the ultimate spherical, eight photographs behind leaders Bradley Keegan and Sam Burns. Though annoyed on the rating and giving freely strokes on the inexperienced – he was 154th of 156 golfers in strokes gained putting Friday – he did admit the sport was not a complete catastrophe.

“I’m not pleased with the score the third day in a row. I’m playing way better than I’m scoring, which is frustrating,” he stated. “But also a little reassuring that if I can just finally start making some putts I feel like I can play well.

“I know if I drive it well, I can go shoot 9-, 10-under out here. I know I can. I just got to get the putter rolling. I got to be able to make some putts.”

Though nonetheless lower than his requirements, it was higher Saturday than Friday when Thomas was heard expressing his frustration on and across the inexperienced with some language as colourful because the Valspar paint indicators that dot the Copperhead Course.

For a number of holes Saturday, it appeared Thomas was following the blueprint that resulted in his first Players Championship in March. There he began with a pair of 71s earlier than making his transfer on Saturday with a 64. This week, Thomas was tied for forty first getting into Saturday and after taking part in Nos. 9-14 in 4-under – together with an eagle on the par-5 No. 11 the place his putter got here via and he made a 14-footer – he was simply exterior the highest 10.

But that bogey on No. 18 when he could not rise up and down after his second shot present in a bunker, derailed that storyline.

“It’s never a good taste in your mouth when you bogey 18,” Thomas stated.

So, off to the observe space they went, to get that style out of Justin’s mouth. And his dad was the reassuring voice. Mike recorded a few Justin’s swings and the 2 would analyze them instantly after.

“He was hitting it nice,” Mike Thomas stated. “He just wanted to confirm a couple of things. … He just wanted to see some putts go in the hole.

“All these guys are hard on themselves. That’s what makes them good.”

Thomas is taking part in for the primary time since ending twenty first on the Masters. The two-week break was extra psychological than something, one thing he says he builds into the calendar every year to decompress from a worrying week, break up the season at what’s near the halfway point, and kit up for a stretch of three majors in two months.

“I probably wanted it more than I needed it,” he stated. “I’m just not in the physical or mental state to be able to play a golf tournament after the grind the week of Augusta. Taking two weeks off was nice. I like to just get away.”

That getaway included a reunion of the Spring Break Crew – Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Smylie Kaufman – in Nashville. The 4 would publish movies again within the day of their journeys. That was earlier than they began settling down. Now, all however Thomas now are married.

“We got the band back together, if you will,” stated Thomas, who lives on the identical road as Fowler in Jupiter, Florida. “We don’t get to spend that quality time away from a golf tournament really ever. It’s like let’s go hang out and do whatever we want all day. We just want to relax and just be the high 20s, 30-year olds … just laugh, listen to music, just do stuff that we wish we could do but with our busy schedules we aren’t able to.”

And not fear about the best way to repair your putting … at the very least for a number of days.


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