Unsurprisingly, Justin Thomas didn’t take too kindly to the United States Golf Association’s public relations Twitter account calling him out on Saturday night.
Following days and weeks of criticism about the implementation and enforcement of the new Rules of Golf, the USGA responded publicly to one of the game’s biggest stars.
“Justin, we need to talk,” the USGA wrote on Saturday. “You’ve canceled every meeting we’ve planned with you, but we are reaching out again. We were at the first 5 events, and tournaments last year, and your tour has had a seat at the table for 7 years. We’d love nothing more than to give you a seat. Call us.”
Thomas’ issue with the governing body wasn’t that they called him out publicly, but that they did so with what he claims to be inaccurate information.
“It was a little upsetting, just because it was inaccurate,” Thomas said. “I haven’t canceled anything, especially any meetings, but it is what it is, and all I want is the best for the game of golf and the best for the sport, and that’s what we’re going to continue to try to communicate with each other, to get that.
“We’re definitely going to talk at some point. We’ve had conversations this year, multiple times, with a couple different people. It’s not like it hasn’t happened.”
Thomas did say that he hadn’t joined a few calls with the USGA in recent weeks because he was in the midst of a three-week stretch of tournaments, but he wouldn’t consider that canceling on them.
“It is unfortunate,” he said. “It really hurt me. It was upsetting to me because the information they put out there was inaccurate in terms of me cancelling meetings, and that doesn’t make me look good, and that’s just when I got a little upset.
“We had talked, some communication with them, because I know those guys. I’ve talked to them about the rules this year. We’ve all tried to communicate and tried to get better relationships with them. It’s just, it is what it is, and all we’re looking is to better the sport and better the game.”
The USGA’s senior managing director of championships, John Bodenhamer, said that the USGA has a close bond with Thomas and that he personally exchanged correspondence with Thomas on Saturday to set up a time to discuss the issues he’s brought up.
“Look, it’s clear, I’m sure to everyone, that direct communication is the best way to go,” Bodenhamer said. “That’s where we’re going to go with this.
“We are going to talk with Justin, and we are happy we will have an opportunity to have a conversation in a few days, hopefully. Look, we will do whatever it takes in cooperation with the Tour.”