Interviews
Justin Thomas
Interviews

Europe

The key quotes from today's US press conferences

Justin Thomas may be a former World Number One and a Major Champion but he is relishing his first taste of playing in a Ryder Cup at Le Golf National.

Thomas is just the third player in history to play as a Ryder Cup rookie having already reached World Number One, following in the footsteps of American team-mate Tiger Woods in 1997 and Vice Captain David Duval in 1999.

The 25 year old has been involved at Ryder Cups before, playing in the Junior Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in 2010 alongside 2018 team-mate Jordan Spieth and attending others as a spectator, and he is determined to take it all in his stride as he makes his senior debut.

“I'm trying not to overthink it, if that makes sense,” he said. “I think it's so easy to do, in not only golf but in match play. It's so easy to overthink the pairings, so easy to overthink the odds or the evens or what hole do you want to go first.

“But at the end of the day, if we play better golf than they do, we're probably going to win - if they play better golf than we do, they're probably going to win.

“It's still golf. You still have to hit it on the fairway, still have to hit it on the green and make a lower score than the other team on the hole. I'm just trying to take that information in, in terms of it's still golf. 

“I just need to go out and I need to control what I can control and everything else is out of my hands.”

Spieth is playing in his third Ryder Cup and his second away from home after being part of the side beaten at Gleneagles and the one that won at Hazeltine.

The three-time Major Champion was the second youngest Ryder Cup player in American history when he teed it up in Scotland and he admits he enjoyed the challenge of playing away from home.

“I loved 2014,” he said. “I thought probably the most nerve-racking tee-shot I've ever hit was in 2014. It's one of the coolest moments of my golf career and playing an away game but representing your country in the Ryder Cup, I mean, growing up as a golfer, that's an ultimate goal for us.

“It hasn't disappointed. If anything, it's been understated by players ahead of the tournament. It lives up and passed its hype.”

The United States have lost the last five Ryder Cups on European soil and Captain Jim Furyk was in the Team for all of them.

The 48 year old is eager to end 25 years of hurt for visitors but he knows it will not be easy and gave credit to the European players and organisers of recent times.

“I'll praise the European Tour and the way they choose golf courses, venues where they have European Tour events,” he said. “I'll praise their Teams for how they have played and how organised they have been as a unit.

“We're coming into a golf course that they know a lot better than we do that will be set up in a fashion that they think suits their game. Those are obstacles we have to overcome.

“Their crowd is phenomenal, they make a lot of noise. There's definitely some obstacles to overcome but that group out there is feisty and confident and right now they are preparing. They are trying to do the best they can to brace themselves and get ready for the battle.”