PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — A day after the USGA called out Justin Thomas on Twitter after Thomas had spoken out against one of golf’s new rules, Thomas responded to the USGA’s accusation that he had canceled multiple meetings with the organization.
“It was a little shocking,” Thomas said Sunday at the Honda Classic. “It was a little upsetting just because it was inaccurate. I haven't canceled anything, especially any meetings. But it is what it is, and all I want is the best for the game of golf and the best for the sport, and that's what we're going to continue to try to communicate with each other to get that.
“It is unfortunate. It just was -- it really hurt me.”
In the USGA’s tweet, it said the 25-year-old had “cancelled every meeting we’ve planned,” was reaching out again and they “needed to talk.” It's unclear who from the USGA sent the tweet and the organization did not respond to a request seeking comment.
Meanwhile, a representative of Thomas’ had multiple conversations with the USGA on Saturday night. The USGA also acknowledged that it had spoken with Thomas' camp.
According to sources, a call had been set up between Thomas and a member of the USGA’s staff earlier this year. That call never took place, however.
For Thomas' part, he said he is glad to have moved the conversation along and it’s likely the two sides will talk further.
“We're definitely going to talk at some point, but we've had conversations this year multiple times with a couple different people,” Thomas said. “It's not like it hasn't happened. It hasn't been the last three weeks because I've been at a tournament, and that's my main focus.”
As for the rule Thomas was outspoken against — Rule 10.2b (4), which states that a player is not allowed to have his or her caddie deliberately stand behind him or her when the player begins taking a stance — his feelings on that have not changed.
Thomas was critical of the rule when Adam Schenk became the third player to be penalized for the violation as he played out of a bunker earlier this week at PGA National.
“Anything that can be changed rule-wise that can better the game, all of us are all for it, especially myself,” he said. “I don't really see a way, along with other players, that that [rule] improves the game of golf and the rules of golf.”