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College star Thomas eyes card as tour pro

Justin Thomas
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SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Justin Thomas saw what Jordan Spieth did last season. He’s not going to measure his rookie year by his friend’s recent success.

Thomas, the 2012 NCAA Player of the Year from the University of Alabama, is making his PGA Tour professional debut at this week’s Open.

“I’m not trying to have too many expectations,” Thomas, who competed in the European Tour's Alfred Dunhill Links as a pro in September, said Wednesday at CordeValle Golf Course. “I just want to come into all my events and just play the best that I can and most importantly, just have a place to play this year.” Open: Articles, videos and photos

Like Spieth this past season, Thomas begins his campaign without any tour status. He will be competing in Q-School to try and earn a card on the Tour. He’s competing in this week’s event on a sponsor exemption and will do the same at The McGladrey Classic.

Spieth eventually gained PGA Tour status in 2013, won a Tour event and made the U.S. Presidents Cup team.

Thomas helped lead Alabama to this year’s National Championship and the U.S. Walker Cup team to victory. His Walker Cup teammate, Cal’s Max Homa, is making his professional debut this week.

The 20-year-old Thomas made three of four cuts in Tour events as an amateur, his best finish a T-30 at this year's Travelers Championship. He made the cut as a 16-year-old at the 2009 Wydham Championship.

Despite joining the par-for-play ranks, Thomas isn't letting on to any pressure.

“As cliché as that is,” Thomas said, “it’s still just another event. But … hopefully at the end of the week I’ll be getting money for how I’m playing instead of just, ‘good job.’”