PARIS – If the U.S. Ryder Cup team was looking for an in-depth report on this year’s Ryder Cup layout from Justin Thomas, it’s in for a surprise.
Thomas will probably just say: “What you see is what you get.”
The World No. 2 is the only potential U.S. Ryder Cup player in this week’s $7 million HNA French Open at Le Golf National, the 2018 Ryder Cup venue. There’s nothing he really needs to tell his teammates.
“It’s a great test of golf,” Thomas said. “It’s all right in front of you. It’s not like there’s any hidden tricks or anything like that.”
Thomas’s main insight on Le Golf National could be said of most courses.
“Hit the fairways,” Thomas said. “It’s a very big premium out here. It’s a lot of 3-woods, a lot of 5-woods off tees, just trying to find the fairway. It’s not rock hard out there, but it’s firm enough to where you kind of get some balls chasing. I could see this golf course if it’s a lot softer, it could play very long, so you have to hit some drivers and a lot of 3-woods.
“Get the ball in the fairway. Once you’re there, you’re able to attack on some holes.”
Along with a sneak preview at the Ryder Cup course, the reigning PGA champion decided to make his French Open debut with a much bigger goal in mind.
“The Open is a major (goal), which is what I’ve prepped my schedule around all year,” Thomas said.
“When we were kind of mapping out my schedule throughout the year leading up to the Open, I was just trying to figure out what I wanted to do. It’s at a course where the Ryder Cup is going to be. It’s a great field. It’s an opportunity for good world ranking points. I mean there were so many positives. I really saw no down side to it.”
And forget any notion about laying down a Ryder Cup marker by winning this week.
“I’m playing against a couple of guys on the (European) team and it’s a stroke play versus match play, so the dynamic is just totally different,” Thomas said. “It would be a tremendous honor just to win the tournament.”