Thomas' wardrobe, grip was inspired by Tiger
February 21, 2018
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
- February 21, 2018
Justin Thomas | Movie Star
Justin Thomas was growing up outside Louisville, Kentucky, during Tiger Woods’ prime years. He had a prime seat in Valhalla’s clubhouse for one of Woods’ most memorable major triumphs, at the 2000 PGA Championship.
“That week was the reason that I was like, 'Okay, this is really what I want to do,’” Thomas said after his triumph at last year’s PGA Championship. On Wednesday, Thomas elaborated on the ways that Woods inspired him.
If you look at childhood videos of Thomas competing in tournaments, he’s wearing black pants and a red shirt. That’s not a coincidence. Thomas even emulated Woods’ grip.
“He's someone that I've looked up to ever since my first memories of golf and someone I've always tried to model my game after,” Thomas said in his pre-tournament press conference at The Honda Classic. “I wore black pants and red shirt every tournament I played when I was a junior because of him. I use an interlocking grip because I saw a picture of him when I was a kid following through and he had an interlocking group and that was the day I started using interlocking and I've done it ever since.”
Woods is nearly two decades older than Thomas, and made his PGA TOUR debut a year before Thomas was born, but their relationship has changed now that they are PGA TOUR peers. Woods was a Captain’s Assistant for last year’s U.S. Presidents Cup Team, which Thomas was a member of. Thomas and Woods flew together to last week’s Genesis Open, where they were paired for the first two rounds. The reigning FedExCup champ and only two-time winner of the FedExCup are now friends.
“We have a great friendship, and I'm very lucky and I cherish that,” Thomas said. “He's definitely somewhat of a mentor for me.”