Justin Thomas is blocking out criticism of his selection for the USA’s Ryder Cup team, saying Tuesday that he has the faith of captain Zach Johnson and his teammates ahead of this week’s tournament in Rome.
Two-time PGA Championship winner Thomas was a controversial wildcard pick after an uninspiring year so far, missing five cuts in 20 events and only finishing in the top 10 in four.
Asked by reporters at the Marco Simone course if he was waiting to bite back at critics, Thomas said: “I definitely haven’t kept the receipts. I don’t feel like there is any good that can come from that.”
“The only thing that mattered to me was that Zach and the vice-captains and the… other six guys on the team wanted me on the team,” added Thomas.
“What I told him (Johnson), is… ‘Of course, I want to be on the team. I think that I can compete and that I can go out there and I can do great for the team’.
“But at the end of the day, if the six guys in that room don’t think that I’m what’s best for the team, then I don’t deserve to go. That’s been my thought the whole time, and I’m very glad that they did and do have faith in me.
“Now that I’m here, all of us hold the same weight as the other one. We are all one, and it’s just our job to go out there and try to win points.”
Johnson cited the faith other American players have in Thomas as one of the reasons for his selection ahead of the likes of Cameron Young and experienced Keegan Bradley.
Thomas, 30, has an excellent Ryder Cup record, winning six of his nine matches over the 2018 and 2021 editions and beating European star Rory McIlroy in the singles five years ago.
“There’s a lot of invaluable elements when it comes to JT and this event,” said Johnson.
“I can say this in full confidence with our six guys that made this team: Those guys were adamant they wanted those six other guys to help complete their team, and JT was one of them.
“I’m not saying that was my persuasion to pick him, but that was part of it.” (AFP)