LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It is the major he has dreamed of winning as much as any other and the one at which he felt his game was perhaps best made to shine. But Justin Thomas hasn't had near the success he'd like to have at the Masters, and he's hoping a change in preparation for the year's first major will lead to a better result.
The 25-year-old Goshen native and St. Xavier High School graduate opted for a more relaxed build-up to Augusta. Rather than long days hitting balls near his Florida home, he went with his mom and dad on a vacation to the Bahamas. There was still plenty of golf but not quite with the same intensity he's used in previous Aprils.
“I just went on a little vacation with my parents down in the Bahamas to get my mind in a good place, and my dad and I would just go play golf like we did when I was 8, 9 years old,” Thomas said. “Just having fun, going fishing, hang by the pool, do whatever just to try to get relaxed — still playing golf but not sitting at home beating balls for six hours a day and putting for three hours a day.
Thomas has made the cut in each of his three previous Masters appearances but has finished just T39, T22 and T17 last year, when he shot a final round 73.
Thomas and his father and coach Mike have been taking a longer look at his performances, not only at Augusta but at all four majors, a record the 2017 PGA Champion feels should be better.
"As a whole, I feel I've very, very highly underperformed versus what I feel I should have (at the majors)," Thomas said. "That's what we're trying to figure out: if it's me, if I'm putting too much work in, if my mental game is off, if I'm pressing too hard, if I'm being too aggressive, what it is. Especially with this place, I think we've almost felt that I'm overcautious. I'm playing too conservatively.
"You obviously have to pick your spots and when to play aggressive versus conservative. As a whole, we figured out that I may be over-respecting the golf course."
Thomas tees off in round one Thursday in the second to last group at 1:49 p.m. with Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose. They start round two at 10:53 a.m. Friday.
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