PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Justin Thomas is no huge fan of golf’s new rules. He made that much clear on Wednesday in the run-up to the Honda Classic. When asked about an increasingly-outspoken Brooks Koepka, Thomas reminded reporters that he, too, is willing to speak out.
“[Brooks] is definitely not causing issues by any means and I feel I’m very similar. There’s no reason for me to sit up here and tell you guys I think the rules of the golf changes are great when I don’t. I think they’re terrible,” Thomas said. “So why would I say that? I think anything you can do that’s going to change the game positively, or have an impact on something, there’s no reason to feel like you need to hold back.”
Thomas told GOLF.com in a followup that it wasn’t any particular rule that had drawn his ire — it was the lot of ’em.
“Pretty much all of them seemed like they didn’t better the game, to me,” Thomas said. “I mean, the ball-dropping thing is weird, it doesn’t make sense. The tapping spike marks thing down — I understand that, but I think it’s a great amateur rule. I just think as a whole they just didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.”
Thomas has been outspoken in the past with regards to rules changes. Early in the year, he said he “couldn’t take himself seriously” putting with the pin in. And when Denny McCarthy was penalized for his caddy standing behind him, Thomas called the rule “ridiculous” and “mind-blowing” in a tweet.
This is ridiculous… the fact this is a penalty is mind blowing. @USGA this NEEDS to be changed ASAP… there is nothing about this rule that makes the game better https://t.co/wtPmPOcss4
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) February 2, 2019
Thomas enters the Honda Classic as the favorite and is coming off a hot start to 2019 that included four top-10s in five starts. He was selected first overall in Tuesday evening’s pro-am partners draft and teed off with several Honda executives at 7:05 a.m. Wednesday (Brooks Koepka was drafted second).
Thomas jumped to No. 3 in the world after a ninth-place finish in last week’s WGC-Mexico Championship, where he finished with a sizzling Sunday 62. He tees off alongside Rickie Fowler (himself a victim of the new rules) and Billy Horschel at 12:35 p.m. on Thursday.