Experience of a lifetime

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For Justin Thomas there may not ever be another week like the one he just experienced. 

Thomas, a future player at the University of Alabama who made the cut at the 2009 Wyndham Championship, was one of 12 juniors selected – 6 boys, 6 girls –  to represent the U.S. at this year’s Junior Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, Scotland.

The entire week was special for Thomas and the rest of the U.S. team. The Americans opened a 9-3 lead heading into the final day’s 12 singles matches. In the singles matches, Thomas, Jordan Spieth, and Doris Chen provided the U.S. the wins needed to escape with a 13 ½ - 10 ½ victory.

For Thomas, the magnitude of the Junior Ryder Cup was unlike any other tournament he had ever played. “In the Junior Ryder Cup you’re not only playing for you. You are playing for your other 11 teammates and the rest of your country,” Thomas said.

Thomas admits that it was easy getting pumped up and in the moment for the Junior Ryder Cup. He played well all week. “When I teed off, and they said, 'Representing the United States of America, Justin Thomas.' I have never been in more of a zone. It got me in that mind frame and I was in the moment which resulted in me playing some of the best golf I’ve ever played.”

The players on this year’s U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team recognized the significance of representing their country – especially Thomas. “Throughout the week I would get the chills just realizing where I was and what I was doing. It was such a neat feeling representing my country, and doing what I love to do most in playing competitive golf.”

When asked where he would rank the Junior Ryder Cup in terms of his favorite tournaments he’s ever played in, Thomas simply said, “Without a doubt, No. 1.”