1x Major Winner Tangled in LIV Golf Rumors Becomes Justin Thomas’s Role Model Following a Miserable 2023: ‘One of the Best’

Published 12/28/2023, 4:00 AM EST

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via Reuters

Justin Thomas was among the most scrutinized players this year. The slump he fell into took him down till the very end of the season. In 2023, he failed to make the cut at events like the Memorial Tournament, Rocket Mortgage Garage, Masters Tournament, US Open, and the likes, whereas at many others, he performed subpar. On top of it, his failure to make the FedEx Cup Playoffs for the first time in his nine-year PGA Tour career really paints a dark picture. Despite such a predicament, he opened up about how a golfer, who was recently rumored to be joining LIV Golf, has influenced him. 

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Who is Justin Thomas’ inspiration?

After Jon Rahm ditched the PGA Tour for the newest league on the block, news spread that some A-listers would also join him on this road. And one of them was Wyndham Clark. However, he proved the rumors wrong and remained on the PGAT.

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Golf.com’ recently visited Thomas while he was practicing on the field. He was asked some big questions ahead of starting the new year, discussing his hardships and how he deals with everything mentally. He also spoke about Clark as an example of a confident golfer.

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Talking about him, Thomas said Clark was the perfect example of a great player who is good in all quarters. Thomas said, “He’s always been a great player. I mean, he’s been great at every level he’s played out.” JT recognizes the improvements Clark has made.

He added, “I played with him at Torrey Pines at the beginning of this year. And it is a different golfer than the Wyndham Clark that I played with at the end of the year.” Thomas also admires that despite his success, Clark keeps himself grounded and doesn’t let the wins get to his head. He won one Charlotte, he won the US Open like it as he should. He’s got a lot of confidence. Like he’s not cocky. He’s not arrogant, but he’s like, he knows that he’s one of the best players in the world, and rightfully so.”

Clark has been among the breakout players of the year, rising up the ranks after winning the US Open Championship this year. So when established golfers like Justin Thomas give his name as an example, it is a big compliment. 

In fact, back in Jun 2023, when Thomas, Clark, and Max Homa grouped for the Traveler’s Championship, Thomas took a humorous dig at Clark. Thomas was the first to approach the green and hit it fairly close to the pin. Clark, who was still waiting to hit his wedge shot, asked Thomas to mark his ball.

Justin Thomas couldn’t resist the opportunity and hilariously said, “Guy wins one f—— U.S. Open and I have to mark it from 80 yards.” The hot mic catches everything!

Watch this story – ‘Back Into the Grind’: Amid the Backlash Owing to His Gameplay, Justin Thomas Gives a Stern Reply, Unveiling His Gut-Wrenching Off Time

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How is Justin Thomas doing lately on the field?

It was after his appearance at the Ryder Cup that things changed for Thomas. In fact, at his press conference, he took some time out to talk about his mental coach after crediting his caddie Jim “Bones” Mackey for suggesting her to him. He said, You have to work on what’s going on between your ears just like I do my yardages with my wedges.” Looking at Julie Elion, who was sitting in the back of the interview room inconspicuously and was then assisting Max Homa and Wyndham Clark around the same time, Thomas said, “I think she’s done a great job.

It’s been great for me given the timing of the year I had. Not that I can’t talk to my parents or (wife) Jill or any friends or anything, but it’s nice to hear some unbiased opinions. She’s great. She’s very good at letting you be the one that comes up with the solution or the answer to what’s going on, I’d say.”

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 Although Thomas was not an automatic qualifier for the U.S. Ryder Cup, he was selected as a captain’s pick which later came to be viewed as a controversial choice. But Thomas ended up being the only one on the American side who delivered, collecting 1.5 total points and winning his Sunday singles match. Post this, his T4 finish at the Nedbank Golf Challenge and his 3rd finish at the Hero World Challenge are proof that Thomas has worked on improving his form and is clearly showing good results. Lastly, he wrapped this year by participating in the PNC Championship where he finished on T13 in the field.

“I Don’t Think It’s That Important”: A ‘Rusty’ Justin Thomas Shakes Off the Recent Ryder Cup Commotions Aside After Gaining the Captain’s Immense Trust

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Written by:

Shafaque Taha

745Articles

One take at a time

I am Shafaque Taha, a senior golf writer at EssentiallySports, and here I am living my dream as a storyteller. Combining the knowledge from my master's degree in English literature, which was driven purely out of my passion for reading and writing, with my interest in the serendipity that I believe golf brings, I look to bring words to life for readers with my niche golf coverage. My love for the sport stems from the calming greens and the rush of adrenaline one feels when on them, and I especially enjoy watching LPGA Tour professionals in action.
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Edited by:

Tushhita.barua

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