As players embark on a new year, there is no shortage of goals to be set: performance metrics, world ranking cutoffs, trophy hauls.
For Justin Thomas, the goal is clear - and it might not be the one you would expect from a 22-year-old Tour sophomore. More than titles, Thomas wants a spot on the Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine National this fall.
"I think that's No. 1, for sure," Thomas said on "Morning Drive" Tuesday. "No disrespect to the Olympics at all. In any form, if you get to represent your country it doesn't matter what it is. I want to be doing that."
Thomas is in the field this week at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions thanks to his win at the CIMB Classic in November. That victory, along with a T-3 finish at the season-opening Frys.com Open, have him starting the year at No. 3 in the FedEx Cup standings, but Thomas didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for his result in either fall event.
While he currently sits in 33rd place on the U.S. points list, Thomas remains eager to make the team after joining his father as a fan at three editions of the biennial event as a kid.
"It's just unbelievable. I got chills as a spectator, and talking to guys that have played in it, they said it's the coolest thing they've ever done," he said. "It's something I'm definitely shooting for, but I can't get ahead of myself. I've got a lot of things I need to take care of first."
A spot at Hazeltine would likely correlate to on-course success, but Thomas is clearly prioritizing a Ryder Cup berth. He even went as far as to say that, given the choice, he would rather have a spot on a winning American squad this fall than win a major this year.
"Winning Ryder Cup team, hands down," he said.