(Note: Golf professional Mike Thomas is the father of 2017 PGA Player of the Year and 2018 United States Ryder Cup team member Justin Thomas. Mike will be sharing his impressions of this week’s Ryder Cup matches at Le Golf National outside Paris with the (Louisville, Ky.) Courier Journal, which is part of the USA TODAY Network.)
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Monday was our first day in France. My wife, Jani, and I left Atlanta from the Tour Championship on Sunday night and arrived in Paris at about noon. Justin flew on a charter at about the same time, with players, caddies, wives, girlfriends, etc.–
Monday was a day of rest, both for us and for most of the players. A couple of the players went out to the course, but most stayed at their hotel for rest, workouts and to recharge from the Tour Championship. Jani and I walked around Versailles. It’s a nice town, but oddly, most restaurants are closed on Mondays here. Additionally, as my wife will attest, a couple of hours of tourism is enough for me for the month, so it was nice to knock that out.
Tuesday we headed out at 6:30 a.m. to the golf course for a practice round. It was a very cold morning, about 48 degrees when we started, which honestly was a nice change from the hot, humid weather we had at Atlanta. Justin and Jordan Spieth played against Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson.
I always love to watch what ultimately becomes a heated match among the best players in the world. Regardless of what is on the line, these guys are competitive, and it is a privilege to have a front-row seat for the ribbing and all that goes on. They don’t like to lose, and that is part of what got them where they are.
The golf course itself is hard. Justin played in the French Open here in June and finished tied for eighth. He told me then it was hard, and I see why he felt that way. I think he said he hit just five to seven drivers in four rounds.
Justin is used to playing out of the rough, so avoiding a driver is something he doesn’t normally do, but if you hit it off-line here, you are in a hazard or rough from which you can often not advance it very far. It should be great for match play.
Justin has been dealing with some tendinitis in his right wrist the past couple weeks, so it was nice that he played well today and didn’t feel a need to practice afterward. The prognosis on the tendinitis is it won’t get better without inactivity, but won’t get worse, so any time we avoid beating balls is a bonus. We have this event, six days off, then off to Malaysia and Korea, and then he can rest the wrist. Overall, Justin played a lot better Tuesday than in any round at Atlanta, so it was nice to be moving in the right direction.
Just to mention, surely want to say thank you to all the members at Big Spring Country Club, and Harmony Landing, for all their support and well-wishes. Also, to everyone in Louisville, and Oldham County, who have given Justin and our family so much support over the years, we appreciate it more than you will ever know.
Hope to report back from inside the ropes.