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Justin Thomas commits to French Open for Ryder Cup preparations

Two days after Justin Thomas rose to No. 1 in the world, the European Tour announced he was playing the French Open this year.

The two are not connected.

Thomas has resisted the temptation to chase appearance money even as his stature has grown in the last few years. Since becoming a PGA Tour member, the only overseas event he has played on another tour was the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan at the end of 2016. Three of his eight PGA Tour victories were in Asia.

This is mainly about the Ryder Cup.

The French Open, which runs from June 28 to July 1, is at Le Golf National, the host course for the Ryder Cup in late September.

"I'm excited to see the course and go check it out a little bit," Thomas said. "It's not like a Ryder Cup or a Presidents Cup in the States where we can just pop over and play when we want. I'm hoping to get some good vibes from it and learn a few things about the course. It is always good to help provide any information that might help our team prepare."

The French Open is the same week as The National, which Thomas has played the last three years.

This will be his second start on the European Tour. Thomas made his pro debut in the Dunhill Links Championship in 2013, before he had status on any tour. The other pro in his group the opening three rounds was Tommy Fleetwood, whose career was just getting started.

Fleetwood, currently ranked 10th and a near-lock to make his Ryder Cup debut this fall, also will be at the French Open.