Justin Thomas on Tiger Woods: ‘It’s been good just to go hang out with him’


AUGUSTA, Ga. – Justin Thomas had sort of an empty feeling Tuesday during his practice round ahead of the 85th edition of the Masters.

One of his regular playing partners, 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples, opted to forgo the early tee time due to cold temps. Another of his playing partners, five-time Masters champion Tiger Woods, obviously had to miss the practice round as he continues to recover at his Florida home after suffering multiple, serious injuries to his right leg, ankle and foot in a single-car accident in February.

“I went over and saw (Woods) a couple times last week. We texted Friday morning and he said it’s kind of starting to set in. He’s bummed he’s not here playing practice rounds with us, and we hate it, too,” said Thomas, the reigning Players champion. “I’m very, very lucky that I somehow got thrown into that practice round group with Tiger and Freddie the last four years or whatever it is, especially around this place, I just follow them around like puppy dogs. Wherever they go, that’s where I go after it. If they hit chips from somewhere, I go hit chips from there.

“It’s no coincidence they have been so successful here, but they are also just great guys to be around. Definitely miss that part, but hopefully going to play with Freddie tomorrow. He didn’t feel like getting up in the early cold weather this morning, so I made sure to give him some grief. I don’t know if he would have bailed on me if Tiger was with me, but he did on me.”

Thomas, the 14-time PGA Tour winner and 2017 PGA champion, has frequently texted, phoned and visited Woods since he returned home in March to continue his recovery.

“I would say the thing for him is he’s unfortunately been through rehab processes before,” Thomas said. “I remember when I was out a month and a half for my wrists, I felt so down because I had never been out because of an injury, and I remember the people that reached out to me and checked on me, see how I was doing. I didn’t need a call every single day, but hey, how is it going, want to see how you’re feeling, it meant a lot because it’s easy to get down on yourself when you’re out for a little bit.

“That’s just what I want to do for (Tiger). Like, dude, I’ll do anything you want. If you need me to help out with your kids, I can do that. If you’re craving McDonald’s and you want me to bring it over, dude, I don’t care, I’m here for you and I’ll help out however I can.

“But he’s been good. It’s been good just to go hang out with him. We are fortunate with the basketball to just hang out and watch sports like we would any normal time. Yeah, it’s been good to see him and hang out with him.”

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