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Thomas Defends Koepka, Blasts New Rules

Regardless of what Mike Davis of the USGA said to his constituents at the State of the Association speech at the USGA Annual Meeting last week, one of the game’s most high-profile players disagrees.

Speaking before this week’s Honda Classic at PGA National, the defending champion didn’t exactly effuse praise upon the new, modernized rules. In fact, he brought up how poorly implemented they have been when asked a question totally unrelated to the topic.

Asked about Brooks Koepka’s newfound voice in the game of golf, JT explained that sharing a strong opinion is nothing new for Koepka, he now just feels he’s earned the right within the game to share it. 

“The thing about Brooks is somehow he was one of the most underrated players ever, and no offense, but nobody really talked to him, so it’s not that he just wasn’t speaking his mind, but there was no one to speak his mind to other than us,” Thomas explained. “I think now that he’s getting asked questions, that’s not Brooks’ personality to (stay quiet).

“He’s definitely not causing issues by any means, but I feel I’m very similar. It’s like, there’s no reason for me to sit up here and tell you guys that I think the rules of golf, the changes are great, because I don’t, I think they’re terrible. So why would I say that? I think anything you can do that’s going to change the game positively or have a good impact on something, then there’s no reason to feel like you need to hold back.”

Golf.com’s Dylan Dethier followed up with Thomas after his press conference and asked Thomas to expound upon his rules injection, and which rules, in particular, he wasn’t a fan of.

“Pretty much all of them seemed like they didn’t better the game, to me,” he said. “I mean, the ball-dropping thing is weird, it doesn’t make sense. The tapping spike marks thing down — I understand that, but I think it’s a great amateur rule. I just think as a whole they just didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.”

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