Former world number one Justin Thomas gave his backing to Jim Furyk on Wednesday after the USA Ryder Cup captain was accused over his pairings in their heavy defeat to Europe.
Thomas supported Furyk’s assertion that the pairings were decided well in advance, after Masters champion Patrick Reed said he was “blindsided” by being grouped with Tiger Woods rather than Jordan Spieth.
Reed’s comments were chief amongst the recriminations in the US camp after their 17.5 to 10.5 loss at Le Golf National, along with Phil Mickelson’s complaint that the rough at the French course was too unforgiving.
Reed told the New York Times that “the issue is obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me”, a comment which Furyk rejected when he said the pairings were decided weeks before and made known to the team.
And Thomas told reporters at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia: “That (the pairing) was something obviously that had been talked about in advance, but all I was worried about was that I knew I was going to play with Jordan and we wanted to take care of our match.
“So, you do your job, and Jordan’s and mine was to go out and get a point and that’s what we were fortunate enough to get at least three out of four.
“But no, everybody has their own thoughts and feelings, but at the end of the day we just didn’t play well enough.”
Reed formed a successful partnership with Spieth when USA won the 2016 Ryder Cup, but he and Woods lost both their fourball matches at Le Golf National.
Thomas and Spieth delivered three points from their four matches and Thomas, the most successful of the American players, also beat Rory McIlroy in the singles.
“It’s so easy to look at the captains and say it’s their fault, but at the end of the day we didn’t play well enough,” Thomas said.
“The Europeans played exponentially better than we did, that’s why they beat us as bad they did.”
The world number four has won the CIMB Classic twice in the past three years, after recording his first PGA Tour win at the tournament in 2015.
But he returns to face a different challenge at TPC Kuala Lumpur after a change in the grass on all fairways and greens.
“I would like to still think that I have a good chance. It is a different, but it’s the same golf course. It’s just the grass, the fairways are different, the conditions are different,” said Thomas.
© Agence France-Presse (Additional Edits By Oisin McQueirns)