You get the feeling that Justin Thomas is well grounded.
You get the feeling that he’s down-to-earth, sensible and too smart to get lured into the temptations that come with a huge year on the PGA Tour.
Hopefully he won’t do the old “money-grab” routine.
Hopefully he won’t change clubs for more money. Won’t switch golf balls for a bigger pay-day, won’t put some overbearing advertisement on the side of his golf bag.
Hopefully Justin Thomas will just keep on being Justin Thomas.
He is back to work this week in Kuala Lumpur, a the place where Muhammad Ali once fought in the ring. It’s so far on the other side of the planet that it’s tough to figure out what time and day it is over there. For all we know, Thomas could already be leading by three shots at the CIMB Classic.
Seriously though, Thomas gets back after it and we can catch him on the Golf Channel tonight starting at 10:30. Night owls getting in at midnight can stay up until 2:30 a.m.
This part of the world is where Thomas started to show the potential that has manifested over the past season. Five wins, a major and a Player Of The Year is beyond strong. Justin Thomas is on the rise.
“I felt like last year I did a great job of scheduling,” Thomas recalled. “For the most part I’ll keep it pretty similar.”
Biggest name challenging him at the TPC Kuala Lumpur (where don’t they have a TPC?), is Hideki Matsuyama. Matsuyama might want to go over his schedule. He was great through the first two-thirds of the season, couldn’t break an egg by the time the playoffs rolled around. Golf fatigue looked like it had taken hold of the Japanese star.
While Thomas had a breakout year on a huge level, there was a guy who seemingly came out of nowhere.
That would be the X-Man, Xander Schauffele. Maybe the best-ever rise to fame by a Web.com grad in recent memory. Rookie of the Year, winning of two events, third in the FedEx Cup. Pretty strong for a guy who’s stilly driving his old Toyota Camry. The X-Man is in Malaysia, probably driving a better courtesy car than what he has at home.
Will fame change the X-Man? Only time will tell.
As for Thomas, no doubt his father and grandfather have great influence, both PGA of America members.
What Thomas has accomplished over the past year sets him up as a guy whose name will be in the conversation when the talking heads throw out names of favorites to win the four majors.
What remains to be seen is how good Thomas can be.
He has talent, length, and has improved his weaknesses.
Perhaps the next four days will give a preview of what to expect from J.T.
He’s on familiar turf.
He’s out for the hard-to-get three-peat.
There’s enough competition so he’ll have to go low. It took 23-under par last year.
Yep, other side of the planet.
What time is it in Malaysia?
Justin Thomas says it’s go-time.