The whole horses-for-courses idea was fine for Tiger Woods, who won eight times at Torrey Pines Golf Course, including the 2008 U.S. Open. But Justin Thomas hopes absence will make his heart grow fonder.
The world No. 2 has played the Farmers Insurance Open just once in his seven years on the PGA Tour, missing the cut in 2015, his rookie year, which might or might not have anything to do with why he doesn’t enter. He says it’s simply scheduling and maintains that he really is a big fan of Torrey Pines.
“I even said (Monday) that I don't know why I don't come play this event because I do love the South Course, but it is, it's so different,” Thomas said on Tuesday. “It's very similar to Pebble (Beach) … that you can't come play it in February and then compare it to how it is in the summer. It's a totally different golf course.
“It's all right in front of you. Nothing's hidden. You just have to go out and play well and really manage your game, and like any U.S. Open or any major, you need to make those par putts and saves to kind of keep the momentum going.”
Thomas’ season looked promising after he won the Players Championship in March, following some off-the-course hardship that left him floundering. However, his best finish since the Players has been a T13 at the Valspar Championship. He was just average at the Masters and missed the cut at the PGA Championship four weeks ago.
“It's improving,” he said. “I've been working harder than I ever have. Really just been trying to just equate some results with how I feel like I've been close to playing. I clearly haven't been playing well and consistent, but I definitely have been playing better than the results have shown, and I think a lot of that is just fighting some things here and there in my golf swing and in my putting that are coming up time to time, but a lot of it is just mental, as well, and being a little bit nicer and easier on myself.”