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Why Justin Thomas is a Red Sox fan and his brutal introduction to the NY-Boston rivalry

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Despite growing up in Kentucky, Justin Thomas knows first-hand how intense the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is. 

Thomas is a long-time Red Sox fan because of his uncle, who is from the New England area. 

"No birthday or Christmas gift that was for me from him was anything but Red Sox," Thomas said Monday ahead of the U.S. Open in Brookline, Massachusetts. "It was, like, I had a lot of jerseys, tee shirts, a lot of hats, a lot of blankets."

Those jerseys included Red Sox greats David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Jason Varitek and Nomar Garciaparra. 

Speaking of that Garciaparra jersey ...

Thomas learned BOS-NYY rivalry the hard way

Thomas learned BOS-NYY rivalry the hard way

Full-field tee times from U.S. Open

"Went to a Yankees-Red Sox game at [the] old Yankee Stadium," Thomas said. "I remember because I had my Nomar jersey on, and I was getting yelled at and cussed at and given the finger, and I was 9 years old. That was my first introduction to the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry."

Thomas, however, stayed invested in the Red Sox. Three years later, he attended a Yankees-Red Sox game again, though, at Fenway Park. Safe to say, he probably had a much warmer experience that time.

Now 29, Thomas pays homage to Ortiz in his email and has 34, Big Papi's Red Sox number, in his Twitter handle. Thomas also was invited to throw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game in 2018.  

The Red Sox have won four World Series titles in Thomas' life, and this week at The Country Club, he hopes to bring another championship victory to Beantown.