Justin Thomas: “I just didn’t have it today”

Here is what Justin Thomas of Louisville had to say Sunday after shooting a 3-over par 75 to finish 8-under at the U.S. Open and eight shots behind the winner after he had posted a U.S. Open record 63 on Saturday.

JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it was. I was excited for today. I felt very comfortable. It was obviously playing a lot more difficult, so I gave it all I had. I felt like it was the lowest I could have shot. I just didn’t have it today.

But it made me feel a lot better seeing Brooks shoot 5-under. I would have had to play some pretty spectacular golf to catch him.

Q. Does this sting at all for you?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Anytime you don’t win, it stings. But if 12- or 13-under would have won, it would have hurt really bad. But knowing, like I said, that I would have had to shoot 5-under just to get in the playoff, that’s really, really good golfing out here today.

I mean, to be honest, it just sucks to not even have a chance on that back nine. To try to go out there and try to get in a Top 5 or trying to get up near the lead is not what I play for, but, unfortunately, that’s really all I was dealt, so it’s what I had to try to do.

Q. Did you have a chance to try to hit the reset button after the high of yesterday? Was that a tough thing to do to pretend like that didn’t happen?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I guess so. I’d never teed off this late before, so that was different. Teeing off at almost 3 o’clock central time is just bizarre for me, because I wake up pretty early. So it was a lot of kind of laying around and just trying to stay off the phone and try to stay away from reading stuff just because there are so many things out there that are being said or written. I just tried to stay away from it. But, yeah, it was hard to. But I would like to think that’s not why I played how I did today. I just didn’t play well.

Q. Did you have any inkling on the driving range or putting today that it wasn’t going to be like yesterday?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Well, it wasn’t going to be like yesterday, regardless. That’s not really fair to say. No, it’s hard to tell because you’re not really hitting that many shots on the range. You’re just kind of hitting little chip cuts and just keeping it low, trying to get loose more than anything.

I hit such a good putt on 2. I don’t know how it didn’t go in. And then 4, my ball was three inches from the hole, and it completely stopped and rolled back four and a half feet.

I mean, Jimmy and I were kind of talking coming up 18, obviously, that’s just one shot. But that was a pretty big turn, I felt like. It went from a good save and a tap-in par to now going 2-over through four and really behind the eight ball. Really pretty much all because of a bad pin, which is unfortunate.

Q. Should this place host another U.S. Open?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I like it. I liked it before I came here. I think the wrap it was getting for the low scores and everything, I mean it is what it is. We had one day like this, and the scores were more like an Open. They were obviously a little bit lower, but it does not matter what golf course you put us on. If there’s no wind and soft greens, we’re going to play well. That’s just how it is. Especially fairways this big.

So, I think I didn’t really understand the beef that it was getting for the low scores. I mean, it was still, I mean, 12-under, 11-under was still leading the tournament at one back. That’s not that low for the best players in the world in a major championship.

I think there’s no reason why it couldn’t host another one. I’m sure Erin Hills and the USGA would like it to play firmer and faster to see what it would be like.

Q. Can you talk about Brooks and not just winning but doing it the way he did?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I’m happy for him. He’s a good buddy of mine. Obviously selfishly you want it to be you, but if you can’t win, you want a good friend to win. He’d been knocking on the door for a while. I felt he’s been very unnoticed and maybe not respected as much as he should have for his record. He’s played so well in the majors and played great in the Ryder Cup. It’s crazy to think that this is only his second win. He’s been — I think, if that’s right, he’s been in contention so many times. But he’s a great player and he has no fear.

So I think that’s sometimes why rounds like today happen. Then a couple things go the other way and maybe he doesn’t win and finishes fourth or fifth like he has a couple times. But when he’s on, there are not many people in the world better.

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