Justin Thomas has branded the LIV Golf Series a “distraction” and admitted that wondering what the future holds for the game has kept him awake at night.
The two-time US PGA champion is going for back-to-back major victories in this week’s US Open at The Country Club in Massachusetts.
However, that – along with almost every other significant talking point – has been completely overshadowed by the fallout from LIV Golf’s contentious debut near London last week.
From the PGA Tour suspending members who compete on the new circuit, to Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed joining the list of rebels jumping ship, to families of 9/11 victims and the widow of Jamal Khashoggi speaking out against it, LIV continues to dominate headlines.
Fatigued by it all? Thomas can relate.
“I tossed and turned and lost a lot of sleep last week thinking about what could potentially happen,” he admitted. “I grew up my entire life wanting to play the PGA Tour, wanting to break records, make history, play Presidents Cups, play Ryder Cups.
“The fact that things like that could potentially get hurt because of some of the people that are leaving, and if more go, it's just sad. There’s really no other way to say it.
“The people that have gone, they have the decision that they’re entitled to make. Not necessarily that I agree with it one way or the other, but everything has got a price, I guess.”
Asked if it the chat around the Saudi-funded circuit was becoming a distraction, Thomas added: “It is. You can't go anywhere without somebody bringing it up.
"It's sad. This is the US Open, and this is an unbelievable venue, a place with so much history, an unbelievable field, so many storylines – and yet [LIV] seems to be what all the questions are about.
“That's unfortunate. That's not right to the USGA. That's not right for the US Open. That's not right for us players. But that's, unfortunately, where we're at right now.”