USGA Says "We Need To Talk" After Justin Thomas Rules Rant

Adam Schenk's penalty at the Honda Classic made Justin Thomas go on a Twitter rant

Justin Thomas Rules Rant
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Adam Schenk's penalty at the Honda Classic made Justin Thomas go on a Twitter rant

USGA Says "We Need To Talk" After Justin Thomas Rules Rant

The USGA has responded after Justin Thomas went on a Twitter rant against the current and new Rules of Golf.

JT has publicly spoken out about the Rules prior to this week, although he was once again vocal at the Honda Classic where Adam Schenk was penalised two strokes after his caddie was deemed to have lined him up.

This was after describing the new Rules as "terrible" ahead of the tournament.

Related: Justin Thomas says new rules are "terrible"

Adam Schenk was docked two strokes after his caddie briefly stood behind him whilst in a bunker, which is the third time in 2019 the caddie lining-up player Rule has been used.

Schenk said after, “The intention was never to cheat.

“So, we were just talking about chunking it in front of us, or leaving it in the rough, or the bunker, so that's what we were talking about.”

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"Totally agree...," Justin Thomas tweeted to a reply that said Schenk should play by the Rules with the hashtag #playbytherulesitsnothard.

"I more so say things in hopes that the USGA starts communicating with the current players to better the game and the sport," Thomas wrote.

"The rules are rules, no getting past that. Just hoping going forward, communication is had and ALL GOLFERS benefit from any changes."

"The intent of everything I say is to get the game of golf and the @PGATOUR better," he continued.

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The USGA's PR Twitter account reponded to Thomas, saying that "we need to talk."

"Justin, we need to talk. You’ve cancelled every meeting we’ve planned with you, but we are reaching out again. We were at the first 5 events, and tournaments last year, and your tour has had a seat at the table for 7 years. We’d love nothing more than to give you a seat. Call us."

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"Justin, thanks for connecting with us offline. We look forward to meeting with you and talking through these issues. It's clear we both want to do what's right by the game," the USGA PR continued.

JT then called the Tweet from the USGA PR "upsetting" and "inaccurate".

“It was a little upsetting, just because it was inaccurate. I haven't cancelled anything, especially any meetings, but it is what it is, and all I want is the best for the game of golf and the best for the sport, and that's what we're going to continue to try to communicate with each other, to get that.”

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With the USGA and Justin Thomas now scheduled to meet up to talk through the issues with the Rules, it appears that there could be some changes on the horizon.

Rickie Fowler is one who does think that changes are coming, as he is particularly unhappy with the new dropping Rule.

He jokingly went for a drop behind him at the Honda Classic after being penalised for dropping from shoulder height at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

Fowler said that he believes the dropping Rule will get changed, it remains to be seen if any other Rules will also get changed or tweaked.

Schenk is the third player to be penalised for the new caddie line-up Rule, which came in on 1st January to stop players being lined up by their caddies.

Haotong Li was controversially penalised two strokes at the Dubai Desert Classic for an incident on the putting green of the 72nd hole, before Denny McCarthy was then also penalised at the Waste Management Phoenix Open after his caddie was standing behind him before McCarthy then backed away.

This led to the R&A and USGA to release some clarifications to the Rule - read those here.

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV