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Justin Thomas is in the middle of what is arguably the worst slump of his professional career. Instead of focusing on the negatives or the fact that he’s running out of time to save his season, he’s being optimistic about his current situation and looking at this do-or-die time as a great opportunity.
Thomas was a non-factor in this year’s major championships having missed the cut in three of the four, with the fourth being a T-65 finish at the PGA Championship. Outside of a fourth-place finish at the WM Phoenix Open in February, Thomas’ 2023 has been nothing to write home about as he’s managed to miss five cuts and pick up just three Top 10 finishes in 17 starts.
His poor stretch of play has put him on the outside looking in when it comes to the FedEx Cup Playoffs at the moment, and likely without a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
Thankfully for Thomas, neither of those events starts tomorrow. His back is very much up against the wall, but it doesn’t sound like he minds the position he finds himself in.
“This just goes to show I think this is to me – first off, this is an unbelievable opportunity for me, kind of behind the eight-ball and my end goal is to make the Tour Championship like it is every year. It’s not like I’m just playing to try to get into the first playoffs event. I want to be in Atlanta and I’m going to have to get there somehow,” Thomas said ahead of this week’s 3M Open.
“This is a good chance for me to learn a little bit about myself and push myself and become better. I mean, this game, nothing’s given to you. I’ve had great chances to win the FedEx Cup the last five or six years and now I’m trying to make the playoffs.
“That’s just the way that this sport is. And it can happen to anybody, so you’ve just got to go out and get it and that’s what I’m going to do these last two weeks.”
Justin Thomas Knows The Clock Is Ticking To Show Signs Of Life
Thomas has just two guaranteed starts left on his schedule at the moment, this week’s 3M Open and next week’s Wyndham Championship. Neither of those events were on his calendar to start the season, but given that he’s 75th in the FedEx Cup standings and only the Top 70 advance to the first playoff event in Memphis in August, he’s got some work to do.
While getting into the FedEx Cup Playoffs is a goal for Thomas, perhaps the bigger picture here involves the Ryder Cup.
JT currently sits 14th in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings. The Top Six players will automatically make the team that will travel to Rome this Fall, while captain Zach Johnson will hand-pick six other players.
As it stands right now, it’s hard to imagine Thomas being one of the six captain’s picks given his lack of form. That outlook can quickly change, however, with a solid two-week stretch, a playoff push, and most certainly a win.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris