Justin Thomas Overcomes Driving Woes to Start Strong at Fortinet Championship
The much-anticipated return of Justin Thomas to the PGA Tour after a month-long hiatus was met with mixed expectations. Thomas had suffered from issues off the tee throughout the 2023 season, and his selection for the Ryder Cup team had stirred some controversy. However, despite his struggles with the driver, Thomas managed to salvage a solid opening round at the Fortinet Championship.
Thomas Battles Driving Woes:
During the first round of the Fortinet Championship, Thomas struggled to find the fairway, hitting just 3-of-14 fairways. His driving accuracy had been a persistent issue, ranking him 132nd in the season, with only a 56.2% success rate. As the day progressed, Thomas admitted he had nothing going for him off the tee, regardless of the golf club he used. However, he persevered, constantly tinkering with his approach until he found a solution. This determination allowed him to salvage a good round, finishing with a commendable 3-under 69.
Positive Takeaways and Green Success:
Despite his driving concerns, Thomas found solace in his impressive putting performance during the round. His ability to navigate the greens efficiently will undoubtedly prove vital as he represents the United States in the upcoming Ryder Cup in Italy. Thomas recognized the importance of his putting game, acknowledging that he made some remarkable putts during the round. This promising aspect of his game provided him with confidence as he cruised towards the finishing line.
Ryder Cup Controversy:
Justin Thomas’ selection for the Ryder Cup team came under scrutiny due to his sub-par season performance. However, his inclusion speaks volumes about the faith that the team management has in his abilities. The Fortinet Championship serves as an opportunity for Thomas to tune up his game before joining his teammates in Italy, where he aims to contribute to the American quest for victory.
After completing the opening round of the Fortinet Championship, Thomas finds himself tied for 18th place, six strokes behind leader Lucas Herbert. Defending champion Max Homa, the only other Ryder Cup team member in the field this week, also had a solid start with a 2-under 70.
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