PGA Tour press conferences follow a routine for the most part, with familiar questions lobbed at Tour pros who respond with familiar answers. For the most part. Sometimes, though, as the session drags on, the conversation can meander. Even more so in the Covid-19 era on the PGA Tour, where the remote video conferencing format seems to inspire stranger questions, and stranger answers.
That was the case Tuesday, when Justin Thomas called in for his pre-tournament presser at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Thomas fielded questions on a variety of topics ranging from this week’s event, to what it’s like being world No. 1, the coronavirus on Tour, the coronavirus in the MLB, staying in hotels alone, and bunking with Rickie Fowler, to name a few.
The most attention-grabbing part of JT’s presser, though, was an anecdote that arose from a question regarding the postponed 2020 Olympics. Given that the Games were originally supposed to happen this week, Thomas was asked if he’d ever seen one of the three men’s golf Olympic medals from the 2016 Games. (He’s seen only one, Rose’s gold medal).
But then he was asked whether he’d seen any other Olympic medals, which is when JT dropped his most surprising answer involving U.S. Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps. Here’s what JT had to say.
“I was over at Michael Phelps’ house one time and I asked to see them and he refused to get them because then I would know where they are,” Thomas said. “You would think when you have that many, it would just be you have one like laying on the kitchen table or something, but apparently not. So that was a swing and a miss there.”
That’s right, Thomas asked to see Phelps’ gold medals while hanging at his house, and Phelps rejected him to his face. To Thomas’ point, Phelps’ has a whopping total of 28 Olympic medals in his possession, making him the most decorated Olympian of all time. Not to mention the fact that 23 of them are gold. So he has plenty to go around.
But they are valuable and much sought after items that hypothetically could go for a lot of money on the black market. So Phelps is probably smart to keep their hiding place a secret, even from star athletes like Thomas.