PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL – MAY 12: Justin Thomas of the United States plays a shot on the fourth hole during the third round of THE PLAYERS Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2018, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
By Christopher Powers
After a two-week break following the Players Championship, Justin Thomas is among the many marquee names in this week’s field at the Memorial Tournament. Normally, it would be like any other event on Thomas’ schedule, but this week will be different, as it marks his first start as World No. 1.
If you’ve ever heard some of the top players in the world rattle off their list of long-term goals you’ll notice some similarities that include winning a major, making the Ryder Cup team or getting to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking. The few that are able to accomplish that third item usually downplay it when they’re asked about being No. 1, something Thomas did at first on Wednesday during his press conference at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
“I enjoyed it for a couple days when I had the two weeks off,” Thomas said of his new ranking. “But after that, it was over with. It’s not … I wasn’t really thinking about it.”
Seems fair, but part two of Thomas’ answer shows that no matter how much he tries to minimize it, it still means a lot to reach the top.
“I think I was in the middle of flying home when D.J. finished [the Players], and I had been told [I was No. 1]. And it was like, OK, I’m almost home, but when I wake up tomorrow [and see it]. [But] I ended up staying up late enough to where I waited to refresh it and saw it and it was pretty cool. Seeing every other golfer in the world behind my name is, was a pretty fun thing.”
If you’ve ever stayed up way too late scrolling through your phone and paid for it in the morning, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Even the No. 1 player in the world can’t resist refreshing, refreshing, refreshing. In his case though, it was for a far better cause, rather than the next tweet or Instagram like us mere mortals.
Oh, and he made sure to take a picture so it would last longer as the saying goes:
Justin Thomas said he was up late enough to refresh the world rankings site and see himself at No. 1 for the first time a couple weeks ago. Took a screenshot, too. "Why wouldn't you?"
— Brian Wacker (@brianwacker1) May 30, 2018
PGA Tour pros, they’re just like us!