fter finishing third in the World Wide Technologies Championship, Justin Thomas focused on the positives.
After three rounds, he was within striking distance of the winner, Viktor Hovland.
Thomas’ 2021 season has been a disappointment despite winning the Players Championship and finishing fourth in the FedEx Cup.
“”It hasn’t been a particularly good year,” Thomas added. “I haven’t finished as many competitions as I would like. Despite my strong results, I believe I should have won more more once and performed far better in the majors.”
It’s easy to see why Thomas wasn’t happy with the previous season.
The lack of success has disturbed Thomas, who won the Players Championship with a final-round 64.
In the just-completed season of 2021, he appeared 21 times and finished in the top ten only five times. He did not compete in any of the major tournaments, with his best finish being a tie for 19th at the US Open. At the PGA Championship, he missed the cut. He also dropped from third to sixth in the world rankings after his victory at The Players.
“‘I’m just one or two tournaments away from being back in the top two or three,’ Thomas said. “Out here, it’s all about the sprints. [No. 1-ranked Jon Rahm] has had a fantastic run, DJ (Dustin Johnson) has had an unbelievable run, Brooks [Koepka] has had an unbelievable run, and Collin (Morikawa) has had an unbelievable run. Everyone wants to be a part of the top players’ runs.
And I’m aware that I’m due and prepared for another one; it’s simply a matter of when. I just have to stay in the correct frame of mind, because this game isn’t obligated to you in any way. I just have to keep practicing and putting myself out there, and the world ranking thing will take care of itself once I get a little bit of a run going.”
Thomas and his longtime caddy, Jimmy Johnson, decided to separate ways after the Ryder Cup. The seasoned Jim was then recruited in by Thomas “After his long run with Phil Mickelson concluded in 2017, Bones” Mackay went to work at NBC Sports.
Thomas is clearly depending on Mackay for more aid on the greens in his first two appearances of the new season, including a tie for 18th at the CJ Cup, and is expecting for improved putting to be a spur to more success.
Mackay previously caddied for Thomas as a fill-in, winning the 2020 FedEx St. Jude Championship and making it all the way through the FedEx Cup playoffs.
“This is a new season, and it’s going to be absolutely different,” Thomas explained. “It’s almost as if it’s a new beginning, especially with Bones. “I was off to a good start for the FedEx Cup in particular, and it would relieve some of the strain on us.”
At Mayakoba, Thomas did an excellent job of turning things around. In a tournament where numerous shots under par were required, he was 3 over par through the first nine holes. Over his final nine holes, he turned things around, shooting 30 to move into the red figures. From there, he fought his way into contention before finishing third.
Next month, Thomas will compete in the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, an unofficial event, before returning to the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January.