Thomas says it's not just the party that attracts him to Phoenix Open

Justin Thomas said there is more to the Phoenix Open than its party atmosphere ahead of Thursday's opening round at TPC Scottsdale.

Justin Thomas   -  (Getty Images)

Everyone knows the Phoenix Open is one giant party. The par-three 16th hole features an amphitheater format attracting some emphatic fans but Justin Thomas said there is more to the tournament. 

US PGA Championship winner Thomas enjoys a good time, however, it is not just the party attracting him to TPC Scottsdale ahead of Thursday's opening round. 

"I know it's always been a really good field, so that part hasn't changed too much," Thomas said during Wednesday's news conference. "At least the feel for me when I first got here it was a little overwhelming because no one knew or cared who I was and it's finally getting to the point where at least I'm getting some people on my side when I come to this event. 

"It's awesome. It's so, at least for me it's misunderstood, a lot of people are, oh, like you got to go play Phoenix, just because it's a party and so much fun and this and that. But I really do like this golf course and that's why I come play. I would never come play a tournament just because it's fun. It's the reason I don't play China or I haven't played in the past is because I don't, I just don't, that course does not fit my eye and I truly don't feel like I can win there. So it's like it's hard for me to go sign up for a golf tournament if I don't feel like I can win it. 

"I like the place and I think word's kind of spreading and once people come here and kind of feel the somewhat of a Major type feel with some of the roars and the crowds, especially on some of those holes where you get a lot of people, but it's just an enjoyable tournament, the Thunderbirds do an unbelievable job." 

Thomas won the inaugural CJ Cup in South Korea last year, but he has not finished in the top 10 since.  

He also missed the cut at the Phoenix Open each of the last two years, but the 24-year-old is feeling confident about his game. 

"I had two weeks off so I got some rest and I was fresh or I am fresh, but I had a fun little weekend last, two weekends ago, just to enjoy myself a little bit and take some time away," he said. "Then last week I really got at it and have been grinding hard. Body feels great, I'm in really good shape and been practicing hard, so my game feels good, it's just a matter of execution at this point." 

With so many young players dominating the game, Thomas believes there are a number of guys capable of reaching top spot in the world rankings. It remains his goal to achieve that mark for a significant amount of time. 

"The guys, all the guys in the top 5 or 10 are capable of doing that, it's just in reality, you know, who is going to win the big events and who is going to be the most consistent type thing," Thomas said. "So that's absolutely a huge, huge goal of mine, to try to retain and keep the No. 1 position in the world for as long as I can. 

"Obviously I need to get there first, but I'm making great strides and getting closer and closer, I just need to try to continue to win tournaments and keep having high finishes in those big events. So it's never going to be perfect in terms of a system, nothing is, it's never going to make everybody happy, but that's like anything and everything in the world. 

"But it's a huge, huge goal of mine and there's many guys that could achieve it and be number one by the end of the year, it's really just in terms of them doing it." 

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