MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Justin Thomas sat within the chair, exhaled, then did his greatest to maintain his eyes open. He might need merely stated the media questions he fielded had been placing him to sleep. However he did not have the vitality for humor.
An extended stretch of golf throughout the globe was taking its toll.
Thomas is certainly one of 19 gamers within the subject this week on the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational who made the journey throughout 14 time zones to get from Tokyo to Memphis after competing within the males’s Olympic golf event.
“I obtained in mattress at 8:30 [Monday] evening and I awoke like 11:30 or 11:45 [p.m.] with all my lights on. I did not even make it lengthy sufficient to show my lights off; so I used to be clearly exhausted,” stated Thomas, who’s the defending champion at TPC Southwind. “I awoke in the midst of the evening, was awake for most likely 10 minutes. I wasn’t too happy when my alarm went off at 6:30 [a.m.]. It was all proper as soon as I obtained transferring, however I am beginning to drag somewhat bit proper now.”
Thomas will not be in search of sympathy. It is merely the truth for high-level golfers presently of yr who performed a West Coast U.S. Open, traveled to the UK for The Open (and a few the Scottish Open as properly), then headed again dwelling to america, then to Japan for the Olympics and at the moment are again in America — with a busy stretch forward.
The fifth-ranked participant on this planet, Thomas posted to social media his amazement in regards to the quantity of journey he endured in current instances.
Beginning July 4, Thomas outlined his travels that took him from West Palm Seashore, Florida, to Detroit to Edinburgh for the Scottish Open; from Edinburgh to London for The Open on July 11; from London to West Palm Seashore on July 18; from West Palm Seashore to Atlanta to Tokyo on July 24; and from Tokyo to Memphis on Monday.
Sure, 23,587 miles.
“After seeing that submit [from Thomas] and seeing what number of miles we have gone the world over, it is so much,” stated Collin Morikawa, who performed the Scottish Open the week previous to successful The Open in England.
“I’ve accomplished the very same schedule, and it is powerful. However that is what we do. That is our job. Regardless that we do find it irresistible a lot, it takes a toll in your physique. I believe I’ve accomplished an excellent job all through the Scottish, The Open, week off to get as a lot relaxation as I can.”
Morikawa received The Open for his second main title after which completed in a tie for fourth on the Olympics, shedding out on a bronze medal in a playoff.
Even with out the Olympics, that is already a crammed schedule. With The Open, a World Golf Championship occasion and three FedEx Cup playoff occasions, it already made for 5 huge occasions in eight weeks. Throw within the Olympics and it’s six.
Add the U.S. Open 4 weeks earlier than The Open, plus the truth that most gamers competed no less than as soon as in between, and it has been a busy summer time amid some extreme warmth — aside from The Open, which nonetheless was performed in warmer-than-normal climate for England.
Whereas a WGC is a giant event, there’s no less than a extra relaxed vibe. Gamers do not have to fret about lacking a lower. Everybody will get paid. Nonetheless, few are within the mindset of simply exhibiting up. They need to compete.
“Usually, once I come again from Asia, I really feel completely drained. I really feel useless,” Morikawa stated. “However to this point, knock on wooden, I’ve slept nice, even getting back from Tokyo. However I believe it is as a result of I do know I am right here to win.”
Morikawa has already had an excellent yr (a WGC victory and a significant win), so he could be excused if he had been keen to coast this week and attempt to get recharged for the playoffs.
For others, this is a chance to go on a run and maybe discover some positives after some struggles.
Neither Dustin Johnson nor Brooks Koepka competed within the Olympics after opting to not play. Neither is happy with a yr that got here and went with out a main title. Johnson has been on a perplexing run, lacking the lower on the Masters and PGA Championship. He has not been a stable contender wherever for six months.
Koepka has had his moments, with excessive finishes on the PGA, U.S. Open and The Open however nonetheless lacking one thing that may have given him a fifth main.
Rory McIlroy has spent a part of the yr trying to discover the shape that noticed him drop from No. 1 on this planet a yr in the past to fifteenth. He did win the Wells Fargo Championship in Could, however there have been extra frustrations than triumphs.
“I believe the Olympics was a giant week for me as a result of I performed with extra freedom there, and that clearly panned out properly,” stated McIlroy, who settled for a tie for fourth after falling out of a playoff for the bronze. “I performed my greatest event I’ve performed for the reason that U.S. Open, which was good. In order that’s the main target for me over these subsequent few weeks is play with as a lot freedom as doable. That is actually it.”
McIlory, too, has had a busy journey schedule, taking part in in Scotland, England and Japan. Then he headed dwelling to South Florida for a day earlier than flying again to Memphis on Tuesday evening.
“I really feel like I am form of used to it,” stated McIlroy, 32, who has been a professional for 13 years. “Clearly, the final yr and a half we have not traveled that a lot due to COVID and worldwide occasions. Nevertheless it’s fantastic. The one factor is simply making an attempt to recover from the jet lag and going throughout the [international] date line and coming again once more. That is most likely essentially the most troublesome factor.
“By way of distance traveled, whether or not you spend 5 hours on a aircraft or 14 or no matter, it is all the identical on the finish of the day. So long as you get sufficient relaxation.”
Which, in fact, is the important thing. There at all times appears to be a reckoning of kinds in terms of restoration from such a busy stretch. And there is not a lot time, with one other three-week stretch looming for the FedEx Cup playoffs.