Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – After capturing three early 2016-17 victories and ascending to No. 8 in the world, life has changed for Justin Thomas.
A part of it is money — he used some of the $3.82 million he has won this season to buy a custom Range Rover — and another part is the addition of Wednesday press conferences and other responsibilities that come with being an elite player.
It’s not all external, however. Thomas has developed a penchant for trash talking.
The Jupiter, Fla., resident played a practice round with Keegan Bradley, Jon Curran and Brendan Steele last week at the Genesis Open. Thomas, paired with Steele, gave Bradley and Curran plenty of grief.
“I’m always talking, whether it’s good or bad, but I’m usually talking some sort of trash,” Thomas said Wednesday before the Honda Classic. “I eagled the first hole, so that immediately started and I wouldn’t stop.
“I think we were 1 (up) or 2 up through five or six (holes), and I just kept laying into them and making fun of Jon for not hitting it real far; they are all good buddies of mine. And Jon’s caddie, Cubby (Burke), he just said, ‘Boy, you know, you win three tournaments this year, you really turned into an (expletive).’”
Thomas wasted no time cracking a wise remark in response.
“I was like, ‘Actually, I kind of always have been. We just don’t play that many practice rounds together.’”
Talking trash has become a learned habit for Thomas over the years.
“That has not always been my personality,” he said. “I’ve always been, you know, standoffish I guess, but I’ve always kind of had that demeanor or that sort of mindset when I’m out there. I like to talk trash. I like to feel confident because I feel like if you can’t be confident in yourself, you can’t perform well.”