Tournament of Champions: Justin Thomas not fueled by wins

Justin Thomas won five tournaments in 2017, including his first major championship, but the reigning Player of the Year doesn’t think wins fuel his drive to succeed.

“Surprisingly it didn’t. I don’t know, it just was a weird year last year,” Thomas said ahead of this week’s Tournament of Champions. “It was obviously a great year and really enjoyable, but just the timing of all the wins were just odd.

“Like Korea I was just so shot that  — I obviously was very pleased and happy that I won, but I was just so ready to do nothing that I didn’t even want to celebrate, I just wanted to go home and lay in bed for like three days.

“PGA (Championship) I was so drained from that that I had three or four straight days of media and then after that it was like, okay, I have to get ready for the playoffs. Boston, I’m in the middle of the playoffs. So it’s like I just  — but it was good, you want to enjoy the victories, you want to celebrate, but I swear I celebrate my friends’ victories more than I do my own.

“It’s bizarre but it’s like, when you win, I’m exhausted, I’m tired, I want to keep doing it, but it just was, I never was like, man, because of I won this tournament, I really want to do it more. It’s like, man, I just want to win because I like winning and I like trophies and I like beating everybody else and that’s enough hunger and motivation for me, I think.

Thomas rose to No. 3 in the world ranking last year following his winning barrage. After watching friends like Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler win big tournaments, 2017 was finally Thomas’ time to shine.

As the defending champion at this week’s Tournament of Champions, Thomas is excited to jump back into competition on a course he’s comfortable playing on.

“It’s great to be back anywhere that you had the opportunity to defend and I’m fortunate enough to where I’m going to be able to do that a lot more than I have in the past this year and I’m very excited for it,” Thomas said. “But it’s obviously a tremendous place here at Kapalua. The views are unbelievable, it’s a fun golf course.

“For a lot of us that have taken this long time off in terms of competition it’s kind of an easier way to ease back into it, just with the scores being low and the fairways and greens being generous. But yeah, it should be a fun week.”

Thomas starts the week playing alongside Spieth during Thursday’s first round.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here