Ryder Cup

Thomas to get a taste of a different cup

2018-09-19 11:06
Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas (AP)

Atlanta - Justin Thomas is one of three Americans who will make his Ryder Cup debut, even though he doesn't seem like a rookie.

He already has a Major. He won the FedEx Cup last year. He has reached No 1 in the world.

And this won't be his first Ryder Cup, anyway.

"I was with my dad when he was working for the PGA," Thomas said of the 2008 matches at Valhalla, when he was 15. "I played in the Junior Ryder Cup when it was at Celtic Manor. So I've been to three of them. I know how crazy it is."

He also knows it doesn't really count until he gets to Le Golf National outside Paris at the end of the month.

Thomas is the latest American who made his professional team debut in the Presidents Cup, and now gets to experience playing a Ryder Cup that contains more energy, more volume, more nerves, more everything.

And away from home, no less.

"It's going to be a lot different," Thomas said. "Not even close."

He plans to rely on his US team-mates, especially those who have gone through the change from starting in the Presidents Cup and going to the Ryder Cup the following year.

One of those team-mates he knows quite well. Jordan Spieth made his team debut in the 2013 Presidents Cup, and then went to Gleneagles the next year.

"It helped a little bit, but not much," Spieth said. "That first tee-shot feel at the Ryder Cup for an away game made the Presidents Cup look like nothing else. And maybe it was the away game."

Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson and Fred Funk also had nothing but Presidents Cup experience before their first matches against Europe.

Thomas is the most accomplished of that lot, and Spieth says he will have another element in his favor.

"This team and the guys around us are going to be a different feel from right this very minute until we hit that first tee shot," Spieth said. "I felt like I was in a tryout every practice round (in 2014). It didn't feel like there was a camaraderie like there is now."

Read more on:    ryder cup  |  justin thomas  |  golf


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