‘Just put me in the f’ing fairway’: Justin Thomas tells A+ Tiger Woods story
During the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, Justin Thomas may have underestimated the supreme confidence of Tiger Woods.
While there’s no shortage of legendary stories about Woods floating around, Thomas recently told another one to Smylie Kaufman that reminds everyone just how different Woods is from his peers.
Joining “The Smylie Show,” Thomas recalled a moment with Woods from the tee box during a tough match at the ’19 Presidents Cup.
They were paired together, and while Thomas said Woods typically just tells his playing partners to go play, on this occasion, Thomas was asking for some last-minute advice prior to hitting his drive.
“It was in the alternate shot, and I just made like an eight-footer for birdie to stay tied in the match. We were in a really good match,” said Thomas. “So I had 16 tee shot, and it’s this brutal hole. It’s this very narrow dog-leg left, and it just gradually dog legs the whole way. And I like to fade the ball off the tee, and there’s this damn tree that’s right off of the tee on the left that’s just right in my window … it’s a big point in the match. I need to get this ball in play.
“I have the greatest iron player on planet earth on my team, but it’s such a long hole, I can’t hit an iron because it’s like a driver/5-iron kind of par-4. And I never really ask Tiger anything in terms of layups or whatever it is, and that’s what makes him such a great partner. He’s just like, ‘look, you go play, I’ll go play, I’ll let you know if I need anything.’”
With Thomas worried about the tree and where to land his drive, he figured he’d ask Woods for some advice.
“I call Tiger over. He’s like, ‘What?’ I’m like, ‘I mean, is there anything, like, this tee shot’s not very comfortable for me. Like, do you care if you’re further back or…”’
Woods had a terse response: “I don’t care what I have in, just put me in the f’ing fairway.”
Thomas was initially taken aback, but, ultimately, went out and executed a solid drive.
“I was like, ‘okay, that doesn’t make it any easier, but I appreciate it, partner,'” he said. “So I just teed down a low driver and hit like a little junior draw, and somehow hit the fairway … I’ll never forget that.”
The rest, as they say, is history.
Not only did the Thomas-Woods duo win their match, in doing so, they also helped the U.S. retain the Presidents Cup trophy.