Justin Thomas intends to undergo a person coaching program to “turn out to be a greater particular person” after he was picked up uttering a homophobic slur under his breath when he missed a putt at a event in Hawaii this month.
Clothing brand Ralph Lauren ended its long-time sponsorship with Thomas following the incident two weeks in the past, which the No. 3-ranked American golfer described as “humiliating and embarrassing and it’s not me.”
Thomas has spoken to his different sponsors — Titleist, FootJoy and world financial institution Citi are amongst these listed on his official web site — and hopes they may stand by him as he seems to be to teach himself and restore his popularity.
“It’s not a phrase I take advantage of,” Thomas mentioned Wednesday, referring to the slur he blurted out when lacking a 5-foot par putt on the fourth gap of Sentry Match of Champions, “however for some motive it was in there and that’s what I’m attempting to determine — why it was in there.
“And like I mentioned, it’s going to be a part of this course of and coaching program, no matter I have to do, not solely to show to myself however to show to my sponsors and show to the individuals who don’t know who I’m that that’s certainly not the particular person I’m.”
Ralph Lauren, which has sponsored Thomas since he turned professional, mentioned it was “disheartened” by his language and made its resolution to finish its affiliation with the participant due to the accountability it has to its stakeholders.
Talking from the Abu Dhabi Championship, the place he might be taking part in this week in a uncommon look on the European Tour, Thomas mentioned he was upset however revered Ralph Lauren’s resolution.
“I spoke with them, together with all my sponsors, and though I apologized, identical to it was then it’s a chance for me to develop and I felt prefer it was one thing we might have carried out collectively and gone by way of that course of,” he mentioned. “They only felt like they wanted to maneuver on in order that’s precisely what I’m doing as effectively.
“I wasn’t disillusioned,” Thomas added, “as a result of I put them in a horrible place. I used to be simply extra upset. I had an awesome relationship with lots of people there and like I mentioned we had the chance to do all of it collectively.”
Pushed on the coaching program he intends to observe, Thomas mentioned he can be conserving it “at a private stage.”
“Clearly individuals are going to be part of that course of,” he mentioned. “However what I’m doing I’d wish to maintain internally and simply undergo the suitable steps to get the place I should be and wish to be, so folks perceive that’s not the particular person I’m, the character I wish to painting.”
The Abu Dhabi Championship begins Thursday and is Thomas’ first occasion for the reason that incident in Kapalua. He might be taking part in within the event for the primary time in what might be solely his fourth begin in an everyday European Tour occasion.
Rory McIlroy will play in the identical group as Thomas for the primary two rounds at Abu Dhabi Golf Membership, and doesn’t count on the difficulty to have an effect on the American’s sport
“He perhaps received’t be as ignorant to offend folks — clearly what he mentioned was offensive to a big portion of the inhabitants,” McIlroy mentioned. “He’ll be higher for it, he’ll be taught, he’ll transfer on and he’ll be simply pretty much as good a golfer as he’s at all times been.
“And, if something, it’ll make him a greater particular person than he already is, which is tough as a result of he’s already an awesome man.”