If we take him at his word, Justin Thomas is one hell of a team player.
In Maui for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Thomas was asked if he'd rather win a major championship in 2016, or play on a victorious Ryder Cup squad. Thomas, one of the game's rising stars, picked the latter.
We get there's an awakening spirit in the Ryder Cup on the American side. And we also get how team competitions have helped define Thomas' career before turning pro: he was part of Alabama's 2013 NCAA title team as well as the victorious 2013 U.S. Walker Cup squad. But a major title defines you as a PGA Tour player. You've climbed the mountain, tamed the beast. No matter what you do the rest of your career, you're in a special, rarefied echelon; you're a major champion.
Winning a Ryder Cup? A nice feather in your cap, and a player can be remembered for his performance at this event (see: Leonard, Justin). More often that not, however, the competition is an ephemeral affair.
It's possible that Thomas has different priorities, or knows that -- having made just one major cut in his young career -- making the Ryder Cup is a more attainable ambition.
Personally, I think the 22-year-old is playing a PR game. Also in Maui this week: Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III. Think he took notice of Thomas' comments?