The National Times - Thomas keeping quiet about Tiger's Masters secrets

Thomas keeping quiet about Tiger's Masters secrets

Thomas keeping quiet about Tiger's Masters secrets
Thomas keeping quiet about Tiger's Masters secrets

Justin Thomas has picked up a few Masters secrets from playing Augusta National practice rounds in the past week alongside pal Tiger Woods, and he's keeping them to himself.

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It's one reason the 28-year-old American, who calls himself a major underachiever when it comes to winning golf's biggest events, is among the favorites when the year's first major tees off Thursday.

"To be perfectly honest, what I value the most, I'm not going to tell you because I don't really want any of the other competitors knowing it," Thomas said Tuesday.

It helps to pick the brain of a 15-time major winner and five-time Masters champion like Woods.

"I'm not necessarily asking him a lot of specifics about here," Thomas said. "When I'm asking him stuff at home, it's just like I would ask Jon Rahm a question or ask Jordan a question.

"I feel like Tiger's been a good person for me to do that. But, yeah, I guess I'm very fortunate in that regard."

Thomas also had a front-row view to the shotmaking of Woods during last week's 18-hole practice round at Augusta National and nine-hole tours Sunday and Monday as the superstar attempts an epic comeback 14 months after suffering severe leg injuries in an automobile accident.

"It's plenty, good enough to play well," Thomas said of Woods's game, on display before a huge crowd of supportive spectators on Monday.

"That's probably more people than have ever watched me play a round at Augusta National, and they weren't there to watch me," Thomas said.

Seventh-ranked Thomas, the 2017 PGA Championship winner, managed his only other top-five finish in 24 major starts with a fourth-place Masters effort in 2020.

"I have not even close to performed well in my entire career in majors," Thomas said. "I had a good year in '17. I had one good major there at the PGA and played well at the Masters here in '20."

Thomas feels like he might make too much of a goal of winning the Masters.

"I feel like I've performed very, very poorly. I've learned, but I've just put too much pressure on myself in the past and maybe put the tournament on too much of a pedestal and tried to just overdo things," he said.

"I should have faith in my game and the things that I can do with the golf ball.

"I clearly still haven't found what my answer is, but obviously I'm getting very close."

- 'A very grueling week' -

He has an example to follow in Woods, whose comeback bid has been inspiring.

"It's crazy. Nobody has a work ethic and determination like him," Thomas said. "I've never seen anything like it in terms of setting your mind to something and proving to yourself and everybody that you can do it.

"It's unbelievable the stuff that he can do given everything."

The 7,510-yard Masters layout was already the hardest players face on legs that aren't surgically repaired.

"This is always a very grueling week physically," Thomas said. "It's a very difficult course to walk. It's the toughest of the year. It's very long, very hilly.

"A lot of long walks back to tees... add that along with some of the craziest undulation and terrain of any course we'll play all year, it produces some pretty tired, sore legs at the end of the week."