PGA Tour stalwart Lee Trevino believes Justin Thomas was more than deserving of his pick into the U.S. Ryder Cup team for this year’s event in Rome. Thomas was named as one of Zach Johnson ‘s six captain’s picks earlier this week, alongside Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Sam Burns and Rickie Fowler. Despite announcing himself as one of the world’s best golfers in recent years, the selection of the former world No. 1 has proven to be a huge talking point.
The 30-year-old Thomas has struggled for form in 2023, and did his Ryder Cup chances no favours after finishing his season by missing five cuts in his last eight PGA Tour events.
Despite the poor run, U.S. captain Johnson opted to take the American star to Italy for this year’s clash with the Europeans thanks to his impressive Ryder Cup record and experience. Not everybody was in agreement with the skipper though.
In the days after, former coach of Tiger Woods, Hank Haney was one of the many to question the selection process by the U.S. team chiefs, with Haney claiming that making the Ryder Cup setup was more of a popularity contest rather than based off a player’s form book. He tweeted : “It didn’t matter who Zach Johnson picked the USA team will be heavily favoured but those picks confirm it’s the Boys Club.”
One man who has been quick to defend the selection of Thomas though, is former 1985 U.S. captain Trevino. The six-time major champion said per Sports Illustrated : “Most of the time, your No. 12 guy is weak. You know, I know that Justin hasn’t been playing very well but he’s not a weak player.”He’s won two PGA’s, he’s won 13 tournaments, and he’s got experience. If you look at his record, it’s a winning record. I think this had a lot to do with it. I don’t think it had anything to do with personality.”
Thomas joins trusty partner Spieth in earning a spot on the team thanks to the decision of their captain. The pair have emerged as somewhat of a power partnership in recent years, starring alongside each other at both the 2021 Ryder Cup and 2022 Presidents Cup.
Alluding to this, Trevino commented: ““That’s Jordan Spieth’s partner. And if you look at the record, it’s pretty damn good.”