NEW YORK – Justin Thomas hopes we can appreciate Brooks Koepka's victory at the 101st PGA Championship on Sunday for what it is, and not compare it to Tiger Woods or what any other legend has done in the game.
"You can't compare any of us to Tiger because the stuff that Tiger did – nobody has come close to. Now if Brooks continues this run and does this for 15 years, yeah you can compare the two somewhat. The guy's won four majors; Tiger's won 15," Thomas said Monday morning at a media event at Ralph Lauren's headquarters in Manhattan to launch his new PoloGolfxJT collection for the brand.
It's important to note that Koepka, 29, and Woods, 43, are in totally different places in their careers, Thomas says. Koepka now has won consecutive PGA Championships and enters the U.S. Open seeking his third consecutive title in the event.
Brooks Koepka shakes hands with Tiger Woods after the second round of the PGA Championship. Woods missed the cut and Koepka went on to win. (Photo: John David Mercer, USA TODAY Sports)
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"They're just so different. It's not fair to Brooks either; everyone should be bowing down to him and giving him the utmost respect because what he's done is nothing short of miraculous and unbelievable. I know I'm jealous of him. I'm just hoping somehow to do some of the same."
Thomas, the 2017 PGA Championship winner, had to withdraw from the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black because he's still healing from a bone bruise in his right wrist. He says he could have played last week, but he's focused on being 100% healthy for next month's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
Watching Koepka and Dustin Johnson battle on the back nine on Sunday's broadcast was tough for Thomas, who plans to play the Memorial in two weeks. He thought Koepka's bogey saves on 11 and 14 were "huge" coming down the stretch.
"I just think especially at a place like Bethpage, it's so hard. Bogeys you're going to make but to recover from double bogeys it's something you can't do," Thomas said.
"He made a 6-, 7-footer for bogey on the 11th and then on 14, it was 5 feet but the wind was blowing 25 miles per hour. The wind can easily blow it off line. Those are big putts. That's something I struggled with at Riviera earlier this year. I had a pretty decent lead and I had a hard time putting in the wind. It's hard. I thought he handled it very well. Like he said, I think it's going to be the sweetest win of his four majors."
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