This year has not been kind to Justin Thomas, especially with his performance in the majors.
The two-time major winner lost his third major cut after his 11-over 36-hole score at the Open Championship on Friday.
He tied for 65th at the PGA Championship in May.
Thomas has just three top-10 finishes this year and isn’t just eyeing the FedEx Cup playoffs, which he won in 2017. With his recent play, a possible third straight Ryder Cup appearance is in jeopardy.
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“Obviously, I want to make the Ryder Cup more than anything,” Thomas said at Royal Liverpool on Friday. “I’m probably trying too hard to do it honestly. It reminds me a lot of my first or second year on tour. I tried so hard to make the team the first time around. I’m in a similar position.”
The top six American players in the FedEx Cup standings automatically qualify. Thomas is ranked 13th in this group. He is ranked 75th overall, and the top 70 make the playoffs.
Captain Zach Johnson will get his six picks, making it a tough decision. Jordan Spieth, Colin Morikawa, Keegan Bradley, Tony Finau and a resurgent Rickie Fowler are also on the bubble. And while Dustin Johnson is 35th among Americans for LIV play, he has played in five Ryder Cups, and his veteran leadership could be a plus.
“I’m trying to take it easy on Zach and get in the top six, but I just don’t seem to want to do that with my golf,” Thomas admitted. “There’s a couple of events left to try to get into the playoffs and then make a little run and try to prove a point.”
Thomas will be under consideration given his performances in the tournament and the President’s Cup. He has a 6-2-1 record in two Ryder Cup appearances, perhaps his most impressive win in his singles match against Rory McIlroy in 2018. Thomas and Jordan Spieth are 4-2-1 in their seven team matches.
The Presidents Cup doesn’t have nearly the same hype or pressure, but Thomas has a 16-5-3 overall record there. His record with Spieth is 8-2-1.
“I’d like to think my record is my best argument,” Thomas said. “I love team events. I thrive on them. I just enjoy it. Playing with a partner gives me a little bit of relief, gives me peace.
“I hate to even expect to be picked. It’s the first time since I first qualified that I’ve had to rely on the captain’s pick, and it’s not fun, especially when you’re trending the wrong way when other people are trending. But I’m just hoping I can finish this year strong and my record speaks for itself.”
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Thomas shot an 82 in his first round Thursday that ended with a quadruple bogey when he hit back-to-back greenside bunkers. He’s had more rounds in the 80s than cuts in the majors this year.
Brian Herman holds the lead through two rounds at 10 under, and Tommy Fleetwood sits in second place at 5 under, seeking his first major on home soil.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.