Think Young, Play HardFebruary 23, 2015

Justin Thomas

Watch out for this big-hitting rookie

Before this PGA Tour season, Justin Thomas made a list of seemingly lofty goals. He wanted to be in contention consistently, win a tournament and play in the Tour Championship. After three top 10s in his first eight events, the question might be, did he underestimate his capabilities? At 143 pounds, Thomas is playing big. And not just on the leader board. He's crushing it off the tee, averaging over 300 yards. The Goshen, Ky., native has been on an upward trajectory since he was player of the year as a freshman at Alabama. He turned pro in 2013 and earned his PGA Tour card after a strong 2014 on the Web.com Tour. For his debut at the Frys.com Open in Napa, Calif., in October, we had a photographer follow Thomas to get his impressions of tour life.

Justin Thomas

  1. That's my mom, Jani, hanging with me at our hotel. She hates following on-line, so she travels with me a lot. She'll even come to dinner with me and some of the other guys.

Justin Thomas

  1. I'm not big into sightseeing. Everyone rags on me for that. But we did it in San Francisco. We hit the Golden Gate Bridge and got great clam chowder at Ferry Building Marketplace.

Justin Thomas

  1. The perks on tour are no joke. On the Web.com Tour, you get a courtesy car each week. That's me and a two-door Mercedes-Benz I got in Napa. It went crazy fast. We all got bottles of wine, too.

Justin Thomas

  1. I've been dreaming about being on the PGA Tour forever. So I don't mind doing interviews and different obligations. We get to do cool stuff outside the ropes. Like in Vegas, Colt Knost and I played Shadow Creek earlier in the week. Place is legit.

Justin Thomas

  1. To be honest, the Frys was a blur. I played five straight weeks to finish the Web.com Tour season, so I didn't prepare well and missed the cut. But I flew to my new place near the Bear's Club in Jupiter, Fla., to practice for a week. I got refreshed and had a T-4 in my third event. That was a lesson in the grind of the tour schedule. I've followed that with two more top-10s in January.