Justin Thomas was arguably the most controversial of Team USA Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson’s six wildcard picks.
Despite an excellent record in the match, Thomas could not find his best form in the months leading up to Johnson’s captain’s picks, and missed out on the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
With no opportunity to recover his form beyond the Wyndham Championship, Thomas had to rely on his past record in the match to help persuade Johnson to pick him.
As he prepares for his first tournament for over a month in the Fortinet Championship, Thomas has admitted the wait to discover if he would make the team was agonising. He said: “Yeah, it was brutal. I told Zach after the fact that I compared it to like if you – if you had an ex-girlfriend that you were trying to – you were trying to find any excuse you could to reach out to them to get in contact, that’s pretty much how I felt like with Zach.
“You know, I just – I understood it wasn’t going to be something where I text him and he’s like, ‘Hey, just to let you know, we’re at like a 60 percent — no, that’s not what I was looking for in any way, shape or form.
“It’s very tough when you can’t do anything about it, especially I literally couldn’t do anything about it. Basically all the other picks besides Brooks had the Playoffs to play in to where they could prove themselves a little bit more or solidify their spot a little bit more and I just had to sit at home. Yeah, it was brutal.”
Eventually, Thomas was given the nod ahead of the likes of Cameron Young and Keegan Bradley, who both finished ahead of him in the race to qualify automatically. That left some questioning Johnson’s decision, among them Hank Haney, who declared: “Those picks confirm it’s the boys club”. However, it left Thomas counting his blessings.
He continued: “When Zach called, it was a lot of emotions, but like a relief was almost the first thing, and excitement. It was a lot. I had a lot of sleepless nights and then at one point it just kind of finally hit me, I had accepted the fact whatever was going to happen was going to happen, and I was OK with that. And I was always going to be supportive regardless of what happened….