Justin Thomas frustrated with ‘bizarre’ start to 2023

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Thomas admits the frustration with the inconsistent form of his game is steadily growing.

He has made 12 consecutive cuts dating to last July. But Thomas doesn’t have a win and has only three top 10s during that stretch, and the streak only reached a dozen when he made the cut on the number at The Players Championship last week.

A tie for 60th at TPC Sawgrass was the latest example of Thomas reaching the weekend but failing to be anywhere close to contention come Sunday. Through his first six events of 2023, Thomas’ solo fourth at the Phoenix Open is his only finish better than T20.

“I would say frustrated is definitely one of the words I would use to describe how I’m feeling. It’s a lot,” he said Wednesday ahead of the Valspar Championship. “It’s just been an odd year.

“I’ve been working really hard and trying to get what I feel like is back to more how I’m playing. But then again, I’ll have weeks where — it’s weird. It’s like I’ve described it to probably my team, it’s like I feel really close and I feel really far at times. So it’s kind of bizarre.”

The Valspar would appear to be a prime opportunity for Thomas to kick-start his season. He tied for third last year and owns the event’s second-lowest career scoring average at 69.67.

Thomas is also the top-ranked player in the field at No. 10 — although he has dropped from No. 5 just last summer despite the defection of several former top-10 players to LIV Golf. He also is coming off a difficult week at TPC Sawgrass, where he entered the event with the lowest scoring average among all players since 1983 with at least 15 rounds played.

So it’s fair to say that even Thomas doesn’t know what to expect at the Valspar.

“I don’t need to start over and kind of rewrite the book. It’s not that far off,” he said. “It’s just this game of golf can do that sometimes. I think that quote kind of was going around again of what Max (Homa) said however many years ago — you know, this game can make you feel one swing away from want to go quit and one swing away from feeling like you’re going to win the Masters, and that’s kind of where I’m at right now.”

Thomas said he’s a big fan of the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort, where he has finished worse than T18 just once in five previous starts. Can this week be the springboard toward the string of upcoming majors, beginning with next month’s Masters?

“I mean, my golf game obviously doesn’t feel great,” Thomas admitted. “I haven’t been playing really, really well, but I feel like I’m close. I’m just trying to stay patient and stay positive and just kind of wait for good things to happen because I know that great things are coming.

“It’s just a matter of time and I just need to be in the right frame of mind for it.”

–Field Level Media

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