Thomas says putting Masters on too high a pedestal undermined efforts

Golf — The 2020 Ryder Cup — Whistling Straits, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S. — September 25, 2021 Team USA’s Justin Thomas celebrates on the 18th green after winning the match during the Foursomes REUTERS/Brian Snyder/Files

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AUGUSTA, Ga., April 5 (Reuters) — American Justin Thomas said years of putting the Masters on too high a pedestal thwarted his best efforts at the tournament, as he tries yet again this week to tame Augusta National.

The 2017 PGA Championship winner has recorded four top-10 finishes so far in 2022, a little over a year after he won the Players Championship by a one-stroke margin, a promising sign as he fights to don the Green Jacket for the first time.

More importantly, perhaps, he told reporters at Augusta that he had changed his mindset around the prestigious golf major.

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«I feel like I’ve performed very, very poorly (in majors),» said the world number seven.

«I’ve just put too much pressure on myself in the past and maybe put the tournament on too much of a pedestal and tried to, you know, just overdo things when in reality I should have faith in my game and the things that I can do on the course.»

The 28-year-old finished fourth at Augusta in 2020, his best Masters performance, but argued that he had putted better in his six previous appearances than the statistics might show.

The 14-times PGA Tour winner is hoping to achieve more this year with six-time major winner Phil Mickelson’s long-time caddy Jim «Bones» Mackay on the bag since September.

«He obviously knows the course amazingly, and I feel like I know the course very well too,» said Thomas, who arrived with Mackay in Augusta last Tuesday to go over strategy.

«I think it will just be kind of more game-time stuff, decisions here and there that he’ll be helpful. Hopefully we can create a little bit of the success he’s had here.»

The first round of the Masters starts on Thursday.

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Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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