The simmering feud between Justin Thomas and the USGA apparently cooled, as the organization on Tuesday tweeted a retraction of an earlier tweet critical of the 2017 FedEx Cup champion.
“After further and more direct conversations with @JustinThomas34, we realize he did not avoid a discussion with the USGA nor cancel any meetings. We value his and all players’ opinions and are committed to a productive dialog as the golf world adjusts to the modernized rules,” the tweet from the USGA’s public relations Twitter account read.
Shortly afterward, Thomas retweeted the @USGA_PR’s tweet.
The tweet came three days after a back-and-forth between Thomas and the USGA over rule changes that culminated with the organization accusing the fourth-ranked player in the world of “canceling every meeting we’ve planned with you.”
On Saturday, golfer Adam Schenk received a two-stroke penalty for action on the 17th hole of Friday’s round of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The penalty was for Schenck’s caddie standing behind him and was announced by the PGA Tour on Twitter.
Schenk’s bogey on the par-3 hole turned into a triple bogey.
Thomas, 25, retweeted the post, adding a brief sarcastic comment directed toward the USGA, and then engaged with golf fans and explained what he thinks of the new caddie rule.
“My problem with the rule is that unless a caddie is clearly lining a player up (which is very obvious), I don’t see how there’s any benefit to it. Doesn’t make the game any better in my eyes. That being said, we know the rule and have to be careful to go by it,” Thomas tweeted.
Eventually, the USGA public relations account responded with this tweet:
“Justin, we need to talk. You’ve canceled 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.”
Thomas responded that he agreed, adding he hopes that “the USGA starts communicating with the current players to better the game and the sport. The rules are rules, no getting past that. Just hoping going forward, communication is had and ALL GOLFERS benefit from any changes.”
—Field Level Media