Justin Thomas defends PGA Tour, Jay Monahan over LIV Golf decision: 'If you want to go, go'

·3-min read

Justin Thomas has been very clear about how he feels regarding the Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf series.

Now, he said, it’s time for others to make their decision and stick with it.

“Look, if you want to go, go,” Thomas said Wednesday before the AT&T Byron Nelson. “There’s been plenty of guys that have been advocates of it and have just talked it up all the time and they have been guys behind the scenes that are saying, ‘I’m going, I’m doing this.’

“And my whole thing is, like, just go then. Like stop going back and forth.”

Justin Thomas defends Monahan’s decision

The PGA Tour reportedly denied waivers for members who wanted to compete in the first LIV Golf series event next month in London — which is set opposite of the RBC Canadian Open.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has long slammed the Greg Norman-run golf venture, and has even threatened players with the permanent loss of their Tour card should they leave for the rival league.

It’s unclear who all requested a release to go, but Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia have all confirmed their requests publicly.

Now, after that ruling was handed down, anyone who does go compete could be facing discipline on Tour.

And while some may be upset about Monahan’s decision, Thomas supports it — and hopes that it ends up working.

“I would hope it would deter them from going over there,” Thomas said. “I mean, I think Jay’s made it very clear from the start of what would happen. You know, I think a lot of people are probably like, ‘I can’t believe you did this,’ or, ‘Wow, you went through with it.’ But this is what he said was going to happen all along.”

Will Zalatoris, who is on the Player Advisory Council and is ranked No. 28 in the world, is right with Thomas.

“I think it's great. I mean, look, if you want to do it, no one's stopping you,” Zalatoris said Wednesday. “But what we have here is pretty good too, considering every week we're playing for a pretty great purse on pretty great golf courses, and considering the benefits that we have off the golf course on top of that, it's pretty tough to beat. …I thought that was the perfect response from the Tour.”

Thomas, who is currently ranked No. 8 in the world, is back on Tour this week for the first time in several weeks. He finished T8 at The Masters last month, and then finished T35 at the RBC Heritage the following week. The 14-time winner has eight top-25 finishes already this season, though he hasn’t won since The Players Championship last year.

While Norman would undoubtedly welcome Thomas into his league with open arms, Thomas said he has plenty more to accomplish on Tour.

Leaving now wouldn’t make any sense for him.

“Like if I wanted to go play that tour, I could go play that tour,” Thomas said. “But I'm loyal to the PGA Tour and I've said that, and I think there's a lot of opportunity for me to, I mean, break records, make history, do a lot of things on the PGA Tour I want to do.

“There could be people that want to make that change and it's like, you're allowed to have that decision, you're a human being and that's just a part of it.”

Justin Thomas
The PGA Tour has denied waivers for players who want to compete in the Saudi-backed golf league. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)