SAN DIEGO – He may not have an early-season victory like Nick Taylor, but Justin Thomas is making plenty of noise in his rookie season.
The 21-year-old finished fourth at the Sanderson Farms – the event Taylor won – to get his season started, and has finished inside the top 20 in all three starts this calendar year.
More than that, though, he has given himself three opportunities to win. First, at the Sony Open, where he was tied for the lead heading into the weekend. Then at the Humana Challenge, where he had a share of the 54-hole lead. And then again at the Phoenix Open, where he was tied for fifth entering the final day.
“I feel like I’ve played well enough to win,” Thomas said Tuesday.
The former Alabama star had a similar experience last year on the Web.com circuit, posting five top-five finishes before finally breaking through in his second-to-last start of the season.
“Everyone kept asking me, ‘When are you going to win?’” Thomas said. “And I said, ‘I’m trying. I wasn’t trying to finish whatever I was. It’s tough to win.’
“It doesn’t matter what level you’re at. If I go play some college events right now, I would have a hard time winning. I think that it’s just being patient and letting whatever is going to happen, happen. If I keep getting myself in those positions, the odds of it happening and becoming a reality are a little bit better.”