Justin Thomas, again towards the wall, is attempting to salvage his season and playoff hopes

It is not typically {that a} two-time main winner and former world primary feels something near the strain at this level within the golf calendar, however then a two-time main winner in a theoretical prime in his profession would not face the prospect of lacking out on each the FedEx Cup and Ryder Cup qualifiers.

Justin Thomas goes into Championship Windham this week with one purpose in thoughts: to all of the sudden get Chard’s profession again on observe, pronto.

For the reason that PGA Championship, his outcomes have been performed: Reduce, Reduce, T9, Reduce, T60, Reduce, Reduce. Thomas has fallen within the rankings from No. 7 earlier this 12 months all the best way right down to No. 26 now. He is in actual hazard of lacking out on each the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the Ryder Cup, two occasions he have to be a drinker of for the subsequent decade.

“There are solely gamers who’ve performed higher than me this season, whether or not they’re No. 1 on the planet or No. 101 on the planet,” he stated on Tuesday. “However now I’ve the chance to play properly this week, to take part within the playoffs and go to a few tournaments that I like.”

The FedEx Cup qualifiers, which embody these three tournaments, are a direct concern for Thomas. He hasn’t missed the playoffs since his rookie 12 months in 2015. He is made it to the season-ending Tour Championship prior to now seven years, and gained the FedEx Cup outright in 2017. Now, he finds himself scrambling simply to get in.

“Prior to now, (I might) have been in a position to depend on a very good first occasion or two within the qualifiers,” he stated earlier than the 3M Open final week, “however like now, you need to play some good golf to be within the qualifiers and I didn’t precisely try this.” Till now.” He was going to overlook the reduce in that match, and now his again was actually towards the wall.

Thomas ranks 79th within the present FedEx Cup standings, with the primary 70 folks qualifying to play within the first-round match, the FedEx St. Louis Cardinals Championships. Jude, in Memphis subsequent week. Whereas the numbers that decide the scores are as slippery and sophisticated because the electoral map on election night time, Thomas will possible want at the very least a Fifteenth-place end in Windham to ensure a spot within the first spherical.

Justin Thomas trains before the Windham Championships.  (Logan Wheaton/Getty Images)

Justin Thomas trains earlier than the Windham Championships. (Logan Wheaton/Getty Photos)

Whereas he made his tour debut for Windham as a 16-year-old on a sponsor’s launch, he didn’t have a powerful file {of professional} success, primarily as a result of he didn’t play the match – ​​he didn’t must play the match – ​​fairly often. He completed 56th in 2015, missed out on the motion in 2016, and Windham hasn’t performed since then, till this 12 months.

“I really feel like I’ll play properly this week,” Thomas stated on Tuesday. “I additionally felt I might play properly on the US Open, and completed what I felt was final place. (He completed 14 strokes over, six strokes penultimate, and missed the reduce.) That is additionally a part of golf, you simply do not know what that you’re going to get.”

Then, the Ryder Cup looms, an occasion wherein Thomas excels, each on the observe—he is been 6-2-1 in his two matches—and within the locker room, the place he is a strong presence on a group made up largely of cool People. . But when he missed the playoffs, can captain Zack Johnson justify taking him?

“I need to make the Ryder Cup greater than anything,” he stated final month at The Open Championship. “I have been attempting to make it simpler for Zach and get into the highest six (within the Ryder Cup rankings, which might be an computerized choice), however I do not appear to need to try this. With my golf.”

The spotlight of Thomas’ profession might be his victory on the 2022 PGA Championship, a win made solely potential by a collection of weird occasions that culminated in one of the vital brutal and surprising main victories in current reminiscence. So he is aware of a factor or two about preventing to the top, which is a ability he’ll must make use of till his season is over, at any time when potential.

He stated, “I’ve an opportunity to have one of many craziest finishes to the PGA Tour season, and I’ll attempt to do it.”

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