‘I've Performed Very, Very Poorly’ - Thomas On Underachieving In Majors

The American has given a damning verdict on his own performances as he tries to win only his second Major at Augusta National

Justin Thomas takes a tee shot at the 2022 WGC-Match Play
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Justin Thomas has given a brutally honest assessment of his largely underwhelming performances in Majors ahead of this year’s first at Augusta National.

The American has only one Major win in his career so far, the 2017 PGA Championship. Worryingly, he’s also only carded one top-10 finish at The Masters in six attempts, when he finished fourth in 2020. With the first Major of the year almost upon us, he didn’t hold back on his record in golf’s biggest events. When asked if he feels he’s underachieved in Majors, Thomas said:

“I know I have. I have not even close to performed well in my entire career in Majors. I had a good year in '17. I had one good major there at the PGA, I think in '18, and played well at the Masters here in '20. But in terms of a result standpoint, which is at the end of the day is all that matters when it comes to tournaments is how you finish at the end of the week, but no, I feel like I've performed very, very poorly.”

Thomas’ underwhelming form in Majors has been puzzling, not least because the World No.7 regularly cards top 10 finishes and wins on the PGA Tour. He has finished in the top 10 in four of his seven tournaments in 2022, while he has 16 professional career wins, including that solitary Major in 2017. Still, Thomas puts his poor Major form down to expecting too much of himself:  

“I feel like I've learned, but 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, with the golf ball, whatever it is. I just need to get a little bit better at kind of getting in my own world and just going to play golf.”

Thomas also attributes some of his disappointing Major performances to his approach to the biggest tournaments. He said: “It's weird. It doesn't make sense. Why would I try any harder for this event than I did for Kapalua or anything else? But at the end of the day, everyone does. You want to be peaking for - before it was four times a year, now it's five times a year, looking at the FedExCup as well. That's the goal. You want to be playing well but not the best that you can, and then once you get into April, you want to peak some and not necessarily plateau or go down, but kind of maintain it a little bit and go up a little bit more as you get to the PGA. So just kind of keep finding what works for you, and everyone's different.”

The 28-year-old, who recently vented his frustration at his declining world ranking, admits his quest to find his best form in Majors is a work in progress. He said: “I clearly still haven't found what my answer is, but obviously I'm getting very, very close. At the end of the day, I just play better golf, and it's all good.”

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.