Former Tiger Justin Thomas is playing in the AT&T Byron Nelson this weekend, and he happens to know the person he is paired with rather well. Thomas is paired with good friend and Masters Champion Jordan Spieth. Thomas and Spieth are also paired with another young star, Brooks Koepka.
Mike McAllister of PGATour.com went into more detail on the two being paired together for the first time in their professional careers.
Thomas is one of just 18 players this season averaging better than 300 yards in driving distance, so he certainly has the length to deal with the 7,166-yard layout.
Plus, he’s been knocking on the door during his rookie season, with five top-10 finishes. Considering that in the last five years, four of the AT&T Byron Nelson champs were first-time TOUR winners, projecting a Thomas win doesn’t seem like a stretch.
Oh, and if it means anything, Thomas shot 9 under during Wednesday’s pro-am.
Thomas said he would give himself a “B, B-minus” this year, but that grade would certainly go up with a victory.
“I feel like I’ve played well and done some great things,” Thomas said, “but there’s still some good areas for improvement. I feel like my results could get better.”
Perhaps some of Spieth’s magic this season will rub off on his good friend.
Former Tiger Justin Thomas is in his first major, and he has been getting a ton of attention from national media. The latest media outlet to take a look at Thomas was Fox Sports. They dive into Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth’s friendship along with Justin Thomas’ relationship with Spieth’s caddie.
Thomas and Spieth have known each other since 2007, when they battled all summer on the junior circuit and were selected to represent the United States in the Evian Junior Masters in France. Thomas won the 36-hole event, and his reward was to play the Evian Masters pro-am with Juli Inkster. Spieth caddied for him.
They have been close friends ever since, and the needle in their playful banter is sharp.
Former Tiger Justin Thomas qualified for the US Open for the first time in his career, and his week got a little better on Tuesday at the practice round. Thomas and his partner Jordan Spieth defeated Mickelson, one of the favorites to win the US Open, and Fowler by 1 in a friendly match.
While playing on a sponsor invite at the Memorial, Thomas asked Mickelson about playing a practice round in the near future. Mickelson replied that he would reserve a spot for him in his Tuesday game if Thomas qualified for the U.S. Open. Thomas qualified for the US Open by tying for medalist honors at the Columbus, Ohio, sectional qualifier and texted Michelson after. Mickelson replied, “Bring a partner.”
Thomas had an easy choice of a partner, as he picked his long time friend in Jordan Spieth. They have known each other since they were 14 when they met at the 2008 Evian Masters Junior Cup.
Mickelson usually plays with the likes of Keegan Bradley and Dustin Johnson during his practice rounds, but Mickelson doesn’t mind playing with young guys. “What it does for me is it allows me to see what’s coming up, and it pushes me to work harder,” Mickelson said.
It was all tied up when they walked up to the 17th. Spieth helped the duo take the lead over the veterans with a 20-footer for birdie. “It was left-to-right about a foot and straightened out at the end,” Spieth said. “My partner was already in with par so I just had to hit it hard enough.” When Mickelson’s birdie chip at 18 checked well short of the hole, it was all over. Youth had prevailed 1 up, or as Thomas proclaimed it, “Young guns, 1-0.”
If you are any sort of golf fan or just caught yourself dozing off to the soothing tones of Jim Nantz’s voice this weekend during The Masters, you will recognize the name Jordan Spieth. What you may have not known about him is that he is good friends with our own Former Tiger Justin Thomas!
Spieth and St. Xavier graduate Justin Thomas faced each other in several regional and national amateur tournaments throughout their high school careers. Spieth was a member of the 2011 Walker Cup team and Thomas competed in the 2013 Walker Cup.
Good friends, Thomas tweeted this message following Spieth’s terrific week at the Masters.
“Very proud of my guys Jordan Spieth and Michael Greller on a great showing at Augusta. I’m ready to get out there and join y’all.”
It may not be long before we see these guys competing for golf titles and championships for years to come.
Thomas is currently ranked 5th on the money list of the Web.Com Tour, has registered three top 10 finishes including a second place effort in the Mexico Open this past weekend. Thomas has earned $141,577 so far this season. If he finishes the season ranked in the top 25 he will receive a 2015 PGA Tour exemption.