BROOKLINE, Mass. – Justin Thomas didn’t play a single hole Monday in the US Open practice round at the Country Club, but that didn’t matter. There were still plenty of questions for him, mostly relating to the LIV Golf Invitational series, which Thomas himself says has been the talk of the sport in recent weeks.
“You can’t go anywhere without someone talking about it,” Thomas said. “It’s sad. It’s the US Open, and it’s an incredible place, a place with so much history, incredible ground, so many stories, and yet it seems to be the subject of all the questions. . It is sad.”
Thomas, however, was more than willing to answer questions about LIV and share his thoughts on the Saudi-backed golf league.
“I selfishly don’t want anyone to leave,” Thomas said. “All I can do is plead my case. But everyone here is an adult, they can make their own decisions.”
The world No. 5-ranked player said he was not surprised by the players leaving to LIV, especially Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, but was saddened that the players’ decision to leave could harm the PGA Tour.
“They were not only telling a lot of their peers about it, but other people,” Thomas said. “It’s astronomical money they throw at people. Everyone has a price for everything.”
The Tour has suspended 17 players who participated in last week’s inaugural LIV event. The USGA has cleared these players to play at the US Open if they qualify or receive a bye. When asked how he foresees the majors being affected by the sport’s divide, Thomas said he was conflicted.
“I just want to play against the best in the world and I want to have a chance to try to win major tournaments,” Thomas said. “That being said, the best players in the world have to be here, but at the same time I don’t necessarily want guys to be able to do both.”
Thomas acknowledged that he could not control this decision and that the majors were in a difficult situation in the future. And while the emergence of LIV could negatively affect the state of the PGA Tour, which Thomas said he’s always wanted to be a part of growing, he again stressed that he tried to separate the decision from the person taking it.
“You may disagree with the decision. You may wish they did something different,” Thomas said. “But for people back home to say that Dustin Johnson is now a bad person, that’s not fair. …Would I wish he hadn’t, and am I a kinda sad about that? Yeah, but that’s what it is. You just gotta move on and make the most of what you’ve got.”