World No. 2 Justin Thomas is in his worst slump since the early part of 2019 when he made eight starts without a top-10 finish.
The 27-year-old Alabama product vaulted into the second position in the world rankings after his victory at THE PLAYERS Championship in March.
He won by a stroke over Lee Westwood.
Since then, Thomas has not come close to adding a 15th win to his impressive PGA Tour resume. He has struggled badly with his putter, and in his last seven starts, his best result was a T13 at the Valspar Championship.
“I clearly haven’t been playing well and consistent, but I definitely have been playing better than the results have shown,” said Thomas on Tuesday at Torrey Pines.
“And I think a lot of that is just fighting some things here and there in my golf swing and in my putting that are coming up time to time.”
He was in contention through two rounds at The Masters, but absolutely imploded during the rain delay that essentially won the tournament for Hideki Matsuyama. Thomas missed the cut at the PGA Championship and has gone T40-T42 in two starts since.
While Thomas believes his game needs work, he also feels much of his struggles are mentally driven.
“There’s clearly things that I want to work on in my game. I want to make sure everything’s perfect,” said Thomas.
“But something I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter what kind of state my game is in; if I’m not mentally there or mentally fresh and ready, it really doesn’t matter.
“Like a day like yesterday, I came out and played 18 holes, and I played well; everything felt good, my swing was good, and putting and chipping felt good, so I just left when I got done.
“Whereas if I need to do a little bit of work, I may just try to turn a 45-minute session into 25 or 30, and same with a range session or putting session, and just minimizing the hours spent out here and maximizing the hours spent at home resting and getting my mind where it needs to be, to when I tee it up on Thursday, it’s something that I just have tried to implement over the years.”
He added, “But a lot of it is just mental, as well, and being a little bit nicer and easier on myself. That’s something I definitely have worked on and will need to execute at a week like here in a U.S. Open.”
Thomas’ lone major championship came at the 2017 PGA Championship, which was nine wins ago. In six U.S. Open starts, he has posted two top 10s, with a high finish of T8 in 2020.
He is not far from a position where golf fans will question whether he should have more major hardware, given his plethora of other accomplishments.