With a day to go before the Waste Management Phoenix Open starts the players have a chance at a realistic tuneup by playing in the Wednesday pro-am. They’ve changed the format so that each group is assigned two pros; one pro plays the front nine and the second the back. This allows the pros to have a half day to just work on the range.
Justin’s interview began with the Tour-wide, ubiquitous, “How do you like us?”
Q. This is the strongest field this event has had in over a decade. How has the perception or the feel of this event changed even since you first started coming here a few years ago?
JUSTIN THOMAS: The field?
Q. The feel, like the perception among the players, perhaps.
JUSTIN THOMAS: I’m not really sure. I know it’s always been a really good field, so that part hasn’t changed too much. At least the feel for me when I was when I first got here it was a little overwhelming because no one knew or cared who I was and it’s finally getting to the point where at least I’m getting some people on my side when I come to this event. It’s awesome. It’s so, at least for me it’s misunderstood, a lot of people are, oh, like you got to go play Phoenix, just because it’s a party and so much fun and this and that. But I really do like this golf course and that’s why I come play. I would never come play a tournament just because it’s fun. It’s the reason I don’t play China or I haven’t played in the past is because I don’t, I just don’t, that course does not fit my eye and I truly don’t feel like I can win there. So it’s like it’s hard for me to go sign up for a golf tournament if I don’t feel like I can win it. I like the place and I think its word’s kind of spreading and once people come here and kind of feel the somewhat of a Major type feel with some of the roars and the crowds, especially on some of those holes where you get a lot of people, but it’s just an enjoyable tournament, the Thunderbirds do an unbelievable job.
Which turned to a question about taking time off. After he finished the President’s Cup, he played the back-to-back Tour events in Kuala Lumpur and Korea, then Tiger’s Bahamas tournament six weeks later and the season opening Tournament of Champions in Maui six weeks after that. Continue reading