PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

The Match VII

Justin Thomas on why he and Jordan Spieth are already at a trash-talking disadvantage against Tiger and Rory is perfect

December 07, 2022

Warren Little

Given the buttoned-up, made-for-live-TV setting, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth won't get to truly trash talk each other on Saturday night at The Match, which will take place under the lights at Pelican Golf Club (coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET on TNT). As Woods perfectly put it on Wednesday, it's just not possible to be truly unfiltered when the cameras are rolling.

"The chatter is good, but it's not quite like the chatter we'd normally have amongst ourselves because in today's day and age there are certain things and certain words you just can't use," Woods said in a virtual press conference. "As these guys know, my vocabulary is very limited in that regard. Certain verbs and nouns and adjectives, you just can't use."

Of course, the four of them will still make due, just in the cleanest, most PG-13 way possible. It is an event for charity after all.

As for who the best trash-talker is, McIlroy chimed in by saying, "I know who thinks he is. JT thinks he is."

While Thomas didn't disagree, he did point out how big of a disadvantage he and Spieth are already at in the trash-talk department against the GOAT and the World No. 1.

"It's kind of hard to smack talk them," Thomas said, referring to McIlroy and Woods. "I feel like on the first tee Jordan and I just need to get it out in the open that, 'OK, you guys have more majors than us, more FedEx Cups than us, you both have an airplane and we don't.' Let's just get that out in the open and that way we don't get it used against us during the match."

He's spot on. The 19 combined majors are nice, but the private plane is the trump card. You simply cannot one-up anybody who owns their own plane. Rory and Tiger might as well already be 1 up.

"They're both quick, too—quick and witty," Spieth added. "I was saying before, me and Justin might have to take the nice-guy route, which is not normal for us in these kind of matches."

That could be an interesting chess move for Spieth and Thomas, who have already proven to be a formidable duo in big-time events like the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. Hence why they are a slight favorite over Woods and McIlroy, who have never teamed up before.

"When it comes to golf accomplishments, Jordan and I have done some nice things, but we don't really hold a candle to these guys," said Thomas. "It'd be nice to get a little something to have that they would not."