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US Open: Rory McIlroy praised by Justin Thomas for ‘doing my best for the PGA Tour’ | Golf News

“I think there is no one who behaves better, more humble and grounded for what he has done and who he is than he does”; Justin Thomas praises Rory McIlroy ahead of US Open; Follow all the action live on Sky Sports Golf from 1pm on Thursday

Last updated: 06/13/22 21:56

Justin Thomas says he is saddened by the recent developments surrounding LIV Golf and reiterated his desire to continue playing on the PGA Tour

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Justin Thomas says he is saddened by the recent developments surrounding LIV Golf and reiterated his desire to continue playing on the PGA Tour

Justin Thomas says he is saddened by the recent developments surrounding LIV Golf and reiterated his desire to continue playing on the PGA Tour

Justin Thomas has praised Rory McIlroy for the leadership he has shown on the PGA Tour in recent weeks.

McIlroy has assumed the “mantle of leadership” after a number of PGA Tour players defected to the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Invitational Golf Series, with the first event taking place at the Centurion Club in St Albans last week.

The Northern Irishman said he understood why players were making the switch but warned of the dangers of going for cash only and said the PGA Tour did the right thing by suspending the Rebels.

He also dealt a blow to LIV Series CEO Greg Norman after winning the Canadian Open on Sunday, where Thomas had to settle for third place.

Rory McIlroy appeared to attack LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman after surpassing Norman's tally of wins on the PGA Tour with his 21st Canadian Open title

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Rory McIlroy appeared to attack LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman after surpassing Norman’s tally of wins on the PGA Tour with his 21st Canadian Open title

Rory McIlroy appeared to attack LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman after surpassing Norman’s tally of wins on the PGA Tour with his 21st Canadian Open title

Thomas, 29, who won the PGA Championship last month, believes many players look up to the 33-year-old, who now has 21 PGA Tour wins to his name.

“I don’t think there’s anyone who acts better, more humble and more grounded in what he’s done and who he is than he is,” said Thomas, who has 15 PGA Tour wins.

“I would hope [the guys look up to him]. I know that he has achieved much more than I have. He’s been out here a long time. He was more successful.

Thomas hugs McIlroy after the Northern Irishman won the Canadian Open

Thomas hugs McIlroy after the Northern Irishman won the Canadian Open

“I remember being a freshman and moving in with Jupiter and he was out at the Bear’s Club. Being the person I am I wanted to learn, went up to him and said hey I’d like to play sometime, introduced me and he’s like, anytime, and gave me his number and we kind of hit it off. We are very similar personalities.

“For me, I definitely think other people should look up to someone like him. I do in some aspects. There’s definitely other parts where he’s still a competitor and someone I’m trying to beat, but there’s still a lot of things that he’s really good at as a leader, and I think he’s very honest, like that like I am.

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“I’m not going to sit here and feed a pc response or just say something to maybe please a certain crowd. If that’s how you feel, you feel like you should say it.

“It’s what he’s doing and he’s doing it for the best of reasons and hoping it will be for the best on the PGA Tour.”

Thomas won his second PGA Championship in May

Thomas won his second PGA Championship in May

“You have to love what you do”

Thomas was also asked for his advice to any young golfer who dreams of playing on the PGA Tour in the future

He said: “I think my dad said it best. I just spoke to him about everything that’s not only happening in golf, but everything that’s going on in the world. I mean, my dad is very old school, just he loved to work. He worked 80 hours a week as a club pro, picked up the carts in the morning, closed the shop in the afternoon, and he was the first to say he meant it , I haven’t made any money , but I just love to work.

“You gotta love what you do is basically what I say. There is no amount of money you could get if you don’t love or enjoy what you are actually doing, the amount of money you have – you will still be miserable, you still will not enjoy it.

“Even if you’re unhappy in a bigger house or a nicer car, it doesn’t necessarily mean your life will get better.

“I think that’s really important for juniors and everyone growing up has to be passionate and play for the right reasons and just want to get better and strive for it and keep working at it.”

Thomas expresses his disappointment with those who have left the PGA Tour, but acknowledges their free choice to do so

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Thomas expresses his disappointment with those who have left the PGA Tour, but acknowledges their free choice to do so

Thomas expresses his disappointment with those who have left the PGA Tour, but acknowledges their free choice to do so

US Open ‘is a grind’

Thomas is looking forward to fighting for a third major title when he plays this week’s US Open at The Country Club in Brookline, but admits he has a tough week ahead.

“You always know the US Open is a grind,” he added. “That’s why I love it. I think that’s why a lot of people love it. It’s one of the few times of the year when you play more for par, and par is a good result. Driving the ball will be very important this week.

“I think like any major, especially the US Open, the scrambling and recovering and making those putts to par can be the game changers.”

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