Waste Management Phoenix OpenJanuary 29, 2020

Justin Thomas is eagerly eying a place on the U.S. Olympic team

Sony Open In Hawaii - Round Two
Harry HowJustin Thomas. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

SCOTTSDALE — Earlier this week, World No. 1 Brooks Koepka and former No. 1 Dustin Johnson expressed a certain amount of ambivalence when the topic of playing in the Olympics came up during the European Tour’s Saudi International.

Justin Thomas? He had a different response when asked about the possibility of competing for the United States in Tokyo this summer.

“There’s no scenario for me [to skip it],” Thomas said on Wednesday from the Waste Management Phoenix Open. “It’s just different. It’s once in every four years, and you have the opportunity to do it.”

Currently ranked fourth in the world, Thomas is an excellent position to play in what would be his first Olympics, with only Koepka ahead of him among the Americans. The four highest-ranked U.S. players qualify, and the cutoff is June 22.

RELATED: Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson downplay importance of Olympics

Thomas’ comments also varied drastically from those of Koepka, who said the four majors and FedEx Cup are of more significance to him when putting together a schedule. Johnson, ranked fifth in the world, skipped the Olympics four years ago in Rio, the first time golf was included in the Summer Games since 1904, and said he’s “not really sure” how they might fit in this time around, either.

Thomas, who already has two wins in the 2019-’20 PGA Tour season and is looking for his fourth victory in his last nine worldwide starts, did say he understood where Koepka and Johnson were coming from, and was hesitant to be critical.

“It’s a very uncomfortable question to be asked, because there’s no right answer,” Thomas said. “No matter how you say it, you’re going to be ridiculed for it or say your priorities aren’t in line. You can’t really compare it to anything because it’s on its own.”


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