Justin Thomas apologizes for anti-gay slur at Tournament of Champions

Justin Thomas on Saturday during the Tournament of Champions.

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Justin Thomas, the world’s third-ranked golfer, apologized Saturday after making a homophobic slur during the third round of the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, the Tour’s first tournament of 2021.

Thomas used the slur after missing a 6-foot par putt on the 4th hole at the Plantation Course at Kapalua. Golf Channel’s microphones picked it up, Thomas putted out, there was a pause, and commentator Terry Gannon said, in reference to Thomas: “Well, really unhappy with that one.”    

“It’s inexcusable,” Thomas said on Golf Channel after his round. “I, first off, I just apologize. I mean, there’s no excuse. I’m an adult. I’m a grown man. There’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that.

“It’s terrible. I mean, I’m extremely embarrassed. It’s not who I am, it’s not the kind of person that I am or anything that I do, but it’s, unfortunately, I did it and I have to own up to it and I’m very apologetic.”

As of late Saturday night, the PGA Tour had not issued a statement. 

Thomas was asked by Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis what he would learn from Saturday. 

“A lot,” Thomas said. “I mean it’s, like I said, it’s inexcusable, I mean, I’m speechless, there’s nothing — I — I found out when I got done on the golf course or when I got done with my round. I mean, it’s, it’s bad. There’s no other way to put it.

“I need to do better, I need to be better, it’s definitely a learning experience, but, yeah, I just, I deeply apologize to everybody and anybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.