Three days after a USGA twitter account called out Justin Thomas for canceling meetings with the organization, the same account has taken to Twitter to apologize.
Thomas, a vocal critic of some of the rules changes, tweeted on Saturday that there needed to be more communication between the players and USGA, which led to the USGA’s Public Relations account responding, “Justin, we need to talk. You’ve cancelled every meeting we’ve planned with you, but we are reaching out again. We were at the first 5 events, and tournaments last year, and your tour has had a seat at the table for 7 years. We’d love nothing more than to give you a seat. Call us.”
After his round on Sunday at the Honda Classic, Thomas said the response was “upsetting,” and “inaccurate.” He said he hadn’t canceled anything, and turns out he was right.
“After further and more direct conversations with @JustinThomas34, we realize he did not avoid a discussion with the USGA nor cancel any meetings,” the tweet from @USGA_PR read on Tuesday. “We value his and all players’ opinions and are committed to a productive dialogue as the golf world adjusts to the modernized rules.”
On Sunday at the Honda, Thomas answered a half dozen questions about his interactions with the USGA.
“It is unfortunate,” he said. “It just was — it really hurt me. It was upsetting to me because they were putting — the information they put out there was inaccurate in terms of me canceling meetings, and that doesn’t make me look good, and that’s just when I got a little upset, and then we had talked some communication with them because I know those guys — I’ve talked to them, and I’ve talked to them about the rules this year. We’ve all tried to communicate and tried to get better relationships with them. It is what it is, and all we’re looking is to better the sport and better the game.”
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan sent a memo to players on Monday, asking them to continue their collaboration with the game’s governing bodies.
“The R&A and the USGA are our industry partners, and we have pledged to work together through the introduction of these changes and provide feedback every step of the way,” he said. “We have already achieved positive outcomes this year – most notably, the clarification of the caddie-alignment rule – while we continue to focus on the remaining issues that are causing debate and discussion. None of this is unexpected.”
You can read Monahan’s full memo here.