Justin Thomas: The fun of simply hanging out with Tiger Woods

Despite the fact that hasn’t performed a PGA Tour occasion in nearly seven months, he nonetheless has a big impact on the sport.

As he recovers from his fourth again surgical procedure and from an notorious DUI arrest and subsequent rehab for prescription tablets, Woods now finds pleasure in his reference to the up-and-coming stars of the sport he as soon as dominated. That features current PGA Championship winner , who discovered it “surreal” that Woods needed to hang around with him in Florida after the victory — which meant fairly a bit to the 24-year-old .

“I most likely acquired simply as a lot pleasure out of that as I did profitable, which is simply weird to say and doubtless for you all to listen to me say,” Thomas mentioned Wednesday, someday earlier than the beginning of The Northern Belief, the primary FedExCup playoff occasion held at Glen Oaks Membership on Lengthy Island.

“It’s simply actually cool. [Woods] has taken an unbelievable function with a few of us younger guys and wanting to assist us if he can.”

That additionally consists of Thomas’ good good friend Jordan Spieth, who was getting texts from Woods after each spherical of the Open Championship in July, which Spieth gained for his third main championship — now simply 11 behind Woods.

“It’s superb,” mentioned the 24-year-old Spieth. “I used to be getting texts from him every spherical at The Open Championship after every spherical, like, ‘Good begin child’ after which it was, ‘Preserve it going’ and ‘You’ve acquired this, keep centered,’ no matter it might be.”

“The truth that he’s and is watching and is sort of rooting on, actually all people, to do effectively, and needs an thrilling end; after which simply from a man you regarded as much as rising up taking part in the sport, and you already know, sort of as an immortal determine within the recreation, to impulsively he’s rooting for you down the stretch in a significant. … That’s a reasonably cool expertise.”

Woods additionally has been concerned in all the crew occasions for the U.S., which can embody his function as an assistant captain for the upcoming Presidents Cup at Liberty Nationwide in Jersey Metropolis in late September. With loads of younger gamers on the U.S. aspect, his presence will additional solidify his function as a mentor — which might have been a wierd thought a decade in the past.

“There’s loads of us out right here that look as much as him and did and nonetheless do, and need to accomplish the issues that he achieved,” Thomas mentioned. “So any time that he desires to hang around or converse some phrases of knowledge, we’re going to hear.”

As a Northern Irishman, Rory McIlroy has a powerful rooting curiosity for the Irish Conor McGregor in his struggle in opposition to Floyd Mayweather on Saturday night time. McIlroy mentioned he has met McGregor, and though he won’t at all times agree along with his braggadocio type, the golfer does like McGregor’s strategy to “visualization” and “the regulation of attraction.”

“I’m a believer in that stuff, and I’m a giant advocate of that,” McIlroy mentioned. “And a number of the stuff he does wouldn’t be my cup of tea, however he believes 100 % in himself and he believes he’s going to go on the market on Saturday night time and shock the world.”

Patrick Reed is the defending champion at this occasion, having gained final 12 months at Bethpage Black when it was referred to as The Barclays. Though the venue switches yearly, he didn’t discover that to be a lot of a deterrent.

“In fact any time you play a golf course you’ve gained on, you are feeling a bit of bit extra snug and a bit of bit extra assured,” mentioned Reed, ranked 38th within the FedExCup standings. “After taking part in the primary couple of occasions I’ve performed previously I’ve been defending on, if it’s on the identical venue, you go in there and generally you nearly go in too assured; as in the event you’re too snug with place, you sort of get lazy across the golf course.”

Hideki Matsuyama has are available second thrice this season to Thomas, together with within the PGA Championship two weeks in the past. Not less than from Thomas’ perspective, it could possibly be a budding rivalry — one which continues with their star-studded grouping with Spieth, going of the 10th tee at eight:26 a.m. on Thursday.

“In case you advised me the start of each week I may beat one man, [Matsuyama] is up there, as a result of he’s at all times going to be within the Prime 10, Prime 15, if not the Prime 5,” Thomas mentioned. “It’s been enjoyable to battle it out with him, simply because he’s such a competitor. His recreation is so, so good.”

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