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‘Have the bitch to say I’m doing this for money:’ Justin Thomas opens up on LIV

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Justin Thomas hits a shot late last month at the US Open.

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Justin Thomas, he would like you to know, is exhausted. And annoying. And “about that, for sure.”

And yet …

“It’s difficult,” said this week the fifth player in the world ranking in the not lie down podcast. “And I never thought I’d be lying in bed so many nights thinking about this damn tour and what’s going on and all this stuff.”

If you’ve been following his golf news, even vaguely, you know what he’s talking about without us even naming the topic. You too may be tired of it all, and that’s understandable. But the LIV Golf Series is still going ahead, playing its second event this week in Portland, and the ensuing controversy has central figures like Thomas trying to make sense of it all, both for themselves and for others, no matter how much. he would prefer not to.

No, JT isn’t going to be playing in the new Saudi-backed series anytime soon; he’s about as pro-PGA Tour as they get, but that, coupled with his lofty status (he also won his second major this year, the PGA) makes him a go-to source for your thoughts on the golf topic of the day, Y not lie down Podcast host Chris Solomon posed a thoughtful question to that:

How does Thomas see this role?

Good point. It’s a lot to take on. She replied, as she too sank deeper into more LIV thoughts. (This is where we advise you to listen to the complete podcast, which also addresses Thomas’ PGA win, his relationship with his caddy, Jim “Bones” Mackay and Will Zalatoris).

“I go back and forth about how involved I should be, how involved I shouldn’t be, what I should say, what I shouldn’t say, what I mean and what I know I can’t say and vice versa. of all these different things,” Thomas said on the podcast. “When it first happened and when it came out, guys, you’re going to do whatever you want to do, and yeah I wish you hadn’t, but you’re entitled to your own opinion and decision and so on. either kind of thing. And I still think that way, but Jimmy Dunne, did you read the article? “I thought I summed up everything that’s been going on here for me in that.

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“I understand that they’re being fed everything they need to say and all these things, but it’s just, for them, saying that is all about improving the game and for them, just, to be completely honest, I just wish one of them had balls to say I’m doing this for the money. Like, I would personally gain a lot more respect for that. But it’s just that the more players keep talking and saying that this is to improve the game, the more agitated and irritated I get about it. Because I can’t imagine for someone like me, who is only in his seventh or eighth year on the Tour and how important the Tour is to me, compared to someone like Rory McIlroy, who I’m sure had other opportunities to do something . like this. You look at Tiger, who has had God knows how many opportunities and things to do something like this. But his loyalties and everything they have stood for and pushed have been with this Tour.

“Because I know I feel that way, so I can’t imagine how strongly they feel. I’m sure they feel betrayed and hurt because, again, I kind of do it. So the more I think about it, the more upset and agitated I get with the guys who have done it. Again, so be it; they took their money and the Saudis hit their number but like I said I’ve grown up my whole life wanting to play the PGA Tour and play in Ryder Cups and Presidents Cup and any kind of thought that that’s not what it is is sad, To be perfectly honest in my eyes. And I never want it to get to that point, which is why I feel like I’ve been vocal.”

There’s a lot to unpack there: Thomas listening to and exploiting LIV’s talking points (you don’t have much doubt about “growing the game”); Thomas wondering what other stars are thinking; Thomas thinking about a minor Tour. And the betrayal, something you don’t hear much about in golf, and Solomon asked where that would come from.

“Well, because it hurts our Tour,” Thomas said on the podcast. “And it hurts us. I mean that’s the point of: I heard someone who made a good point and said that I’m sure at some point, you know, there’s going to be some kind of demand and if any of those guys that are going to go play the another tour suing the Tour, they’re suing me, they’re suing Rory, they’re suing Tiger, they’re suing every single one of us who’s looked us in the face, in our eyes and We played rounds of golf, we played on Cup teams , we share moments, whatever, and they are suing us.

“So for me, that’s where a little bit of the betrayal and the sad, upset feelings come from. Once again they’re doing what they clearly feel is best for them so they’re going to continue down that path in terms of lawsuits and whatnot but when someone said it that way it hit me like damn they’re doing it that to the Tour, but they are also doing it to me because I am part of that Tour”.

Say what you want about all this, but Thomas is being honest here. One could even say brutally.

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With that said, Solomon posed another interesting question:

“Do you think there’s more bad blood simmering below the surface in a lot of this stuff?”

At the Canadian Open, Thomas was asked a similar question, and replied, in part, “I don’t dislike DJ [Dustin Johnson] now, but more LIV events are being played, more Tour players are leaving, and the conversation doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

“I think it’s just one of those things where maybe if I walked past that person before and said, hi, or asked how they were doing, maybe I don’t do that anymore,” Thomas said on the podcast. “It’s not like something where, you know, I’m turning the bird on them, or I’m trying to make their lives miserable in any way.

“Just, you know, it’s one of those things, some people may not feel like they need to give the time of day anymore, that would be my only guess.”

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Publisher

Nick Piastowski is a senior editor for Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories throughout the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left and right and short, and drinking a cold beer to clear the score. the. You can contact him about any of these topics (his stories of his, his game, or his beers) at [email protected]

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