Thomas, USGA in Twitter battle over new rules

Major champion Justin Thomas has made it quite clear he is always happy to play by the rules.

It’s just that he wishes the USGA would sometimes make the players a little more clear as to what those rules – and in particular the new ones – are.

Justin Thomas Justin Thomas (Credit: PGA Tour)

Thomas has not backed off in a social media ‘squabble’ with the USGA in the past week.

It all began when Thomas, the 2017 US PGA champion, said in a Twitter post that he hoped the USGA would better communicate with PGA Tour players over the new rules changes.

That obviously did not sit too well with the USGA – and they fired back suggesting Thomas had cancelled every meeting the organisation had planned with him.

“That was a little upsetting, just because it was inaccurate,” said Thomas in a further retort.

“I haven’t cancelled anything, especially any meetings.”

“But it is what it is, and all I want is the best for the game of golf and the best for the sport, and that’s what we’re going to continue to try to communicate with each other, to get that.”

The USGA’s senior managing director of championships John Bodenhamer explained that he had exchanged messages with Thomas with the aim of setting up a meeting.

“Look, it’s clear, I’m sure, to everyone, that direct communication is the best way to go,” said Bodenhamer.

“That’s where we’re going to go with this.”

“We are going to talk with Justin, and we are happy we will have an opportunity to have a conversation.”

“We will do whatever it takes in co-operation with the Tour.”

The trouble began because Thomas expressed his disappointment after fellow professional Adam Schenk was assessed a two-shot penalty for a rules violation in the second round of the Honda Classic.

Schenk was slapped with a two-stroke penalty for a rules violation in the second round.

Schenk’s caddie stood behind him once he was in his stance on the 17th hole.

The penalty wasn’t announced until Saturday and it changed the bogey Schenk recorded on the par-3 17th on Friday to a triple.

“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,” wrote Thomas.

“[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.”