AUGUSTA, Ga. — A harmful climate scenario that triggered the evacuation of Augusta Nationwide and was adopted by a short interval of heavy rain was all it took to throw Justin Thomas off his recreation and out of rivalry on the Masters.
Issues had been going fairly effectively for Thomas earlier than climate intervened. Afterward, it simply wasn’t the identical. A triple-bogey 8 on the par-5 thirteenth, the one one recorded there this week, and another errors led to a soul-crushing 75 that left him 10 pictures again of chief Hideki Matsuyama, who benefited probably the most from the delay.
“It was two rounds,” mentioned Thomas, who received the Gamers Championship final month and was simply two pictures out of the lead when play was halted for 1 hour and 18 minutes. “I used to be enjoying nice earlier than the delay, after which I did not afterwards. I imply, it is only a disgrace. I used to be actually enjoying effectively. The golf course was enjoying very troublesome, and I simply could not regulate to the inexperienced speeds after I bought again out.
“There was extra to it than that, however had a whole lot of putts that I missed that had been simply quick due to how a lot slower the greens had been. However all people needed to regulate to it, and I simply did not do it in addition to all people else.”
Matsuyama clearly adjusted one of the best. The Japanese star performed his final eight holes in 6-under par, together with an eagle on the par-5 fifteenth, and had his placing dialed in superbly. His 65 gave him a four-shot lead over Xander Schauffele, Marc Leishman and Justin Rose.
“I did play effectively, and my recreation plan was carried out,” Matsuyama mentioned.
Thomas mentioned the greens had been merely slower than that they had been all through the week and had been even approaching the speeds seen through the opening spherical on Thursday.
“From what they had been, they had been getting dry, they had been getting near what they had been, however once more, that is not an excuse,” Thomas mentioned. “I had time to hit putts earlier than I went out. I simply did not regulate accordingly. However yeah, it simply sucks to shoot your self just about out of it in a 10-hole stretch.”
Schauffele got here again properly, enjoying the again 9 in 33 to get to 7 below and inside 4 of Matsuyama. Leishman was additionally below par over the closing holes to tie for second. Rose, the first- and second-round chief, may get nothing going, capturing 72 and going from a one-shot result in 4 again.
However Thomas suffered the worst. He’s now tied for thirteenth regardless of making two back-nine birdies. The thirteenth proved disastrous. He hit his tee shot into the pine straw on the correct aspect of the par-5 fairway, laid as much as 70 yards, however got here up quick within the water along with his third. After a penalty drop and a poor chip previous the pin, he three-putted for the crushing triple bogey.
“I simply chunked it,” Thomas mentioned of the third shot. “I could not actually lay it as much as a quantity that I wished to due to the shot I needed to hit, and it was effective. I even informed myself, it isn’t an excellent quantity, simply get it previous the opening, and I typically overlook form of how steep that’s, and it being into the grain like that, I wished to hit it up within the air slightly bit, and I in all probability simply bought caught behind it making an attempt to carry it within the air, and I simply chunked it.
“Then I form of boned the chip shot, and it is a putt I knew was simply so quick, and it wasn’t. It was so onerous for me to regulate to it on the market.”