Despite all the criticism that has been leveled at Justin Thomas regarding Thomas’ inclusion on this year’s US Ryder Cup team, Thomas is not short of support.
Consider Rory McIlroy one of Thomas’ backers.
“I felt the conversation around [Thomas being selected as a captain’s pick] was completely unjustified,” McIlroy said recently Golf.com’s Subpar Podcast with Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz. “Because, in my opinion, being European and knowing that I’m going to face some of these guys, there’s honestly other guys on that team that I’d rather face than JT. So for me it was a no-brainer. Even though he hasn’t had the best year and he’s struggled to perform, JT is still one of the first guys you put down on that tee sheet for the USA.”
Thomas is 6-2-1, including 2-0 in singles, in two Ryder Cup appearances, but has slipped from the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking to No. 24 with no wins and just three top-10s ‘ere this time. year.
Knost compared Thomas being chosen as a choice to Ian Poulter’s selection in recent Cups where reputation has superseded current form.
McIlroy had another parallel.
“I think comparing JT to Ian Poulter does JT a bit of a disservice in terms of their resumes and their careers and everything,” McIlroy said. “But for me, if you’re going to compare him to someone in the European team over the years, it’s probably Sergio, just in terms of the fire and the passion and obviously the CV that he’s got. … I fully expected [JT] to be on the team.”
“It’s a really, really strong American team,” McIlroy added, “and if I was Zach, I’d be really happy with the guys I have.”