U.S. Open 2022: Justin Thomas was flipped off at Yankee Stadium as a 9-year-old, proving he's a true Red Sox fan
BROOKLINE, Mass.—Justin Thomas grew up in Kentucky, went to school in Alabama and lives in Florida, yet the two-time PGA champ considers himself a Boston Red Sox fan. While that geographical history indicates something of a bandwagon follower, Thomas earned his stripes thanks to a visit to enemy territory.
With the U.S. Open visiting Red Sox Nation this week at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., Thomas was asked how his fandom came to pass. “So my uncle is from up this area, and he's a big Red Sox fan, and it just was kind of something that it was no birthday or Christmas gift that was for me from him was anything but Red Sox,” Thomas said. “It was, like, I had a lot of jerseys, tee shirts, a lot of hats, a lot of blankets.
“I had a Nomar. I had a Manny. Then my first Red Sox jersey was a David Ortiz jersey. I think I even had a Varitek one.”
Which is all well and good. But Thomas’ fandom is more than just a fashion choice. The man was baptized into the community in that time-honored tradition like so many Red Sox fans before him: By getting heckled at by New York Yankees fans.
“He took me to a Yankees-Red Sox game at Fenway for my birthday one year, which was really cool,” Thomas continued. “I think I was probably 12. Went to a Yankees-Red Sox game at old Yankee Stadium. I remember because I had my Nomar jersey on, and I was getting yelled at and cussed at and given the finger and I was 9-years-old.
“That was my first introduction to the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.”
If it makes Thomas feel any better, it would be weird to go to the Bronx and not get flipped off.
The story should make the already-popular Thomas a fan favorite this week. We only hope it leads to a “Yankees suck!” chant as he walks up the 18th hole this weekend.