Justin Thomas says he has “messed around” with ways to increase speed and distance off the tee, although has ruled out copying Bryson DeChambeau’s weight gain to reach his targets.
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Thomas was a three-time winner on the PGA Tour last season, posting victories at the CJ Cup, Sentry Tournament of Championship and the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational, where he was ranked 35th in driving distance and averaging 304.2 yards off the tee.
DeChambeau has hit the headlines in recent months for moving top of the PGA Tour’s driving distance stats adding nearly three stone in weight, mostly muscle, while Thomas has trialled other methods to try and gain an advantage.
“I have messed around with some stuff for me,” Thomas told the media ahead his CJ Cup title defence. “I just want some more speed. I feel like I’ve been good at having another gear, another five or 10 yards if I need it, but I don’t necessarily have that other 20.
“At the same time, and this is not disrespectful to Bryson, I’m not going to put on 40 pounds. I don’t have the height to do that, I’m going to look like a beach ball if I put on 40 pounds. I can get stronger in different parts of my body that can help me hit it farther and gain some distance, but I hit it plenty far enough to win tournaments and do well.
“At the end of the day, if I continue to hit the same distance and play the rest of my career injury free, that’s most important and that’s what I’ve been trying to do with my training. We’re going to see if we can incorporate some stuff that gets me a little bit more speed.”
Brooks Koepka returns to action at Shadow Creek this week for the first time since August, having failed to qualify for the FedExCup play-offs and then missing the US Open with injury.
DeChambeau dominated the field to claim a six-shot victory at Winged Foot, with Koepka admitting to not watching any of the major but crediting DeChambeau’s transformation and added distance.
“He’s always had the speed,” Koepka admitted. “He’s pushing it to that next level, finding the boundaries of how far he can actually hit it and play with it and he’s done a good job of that.
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“He’s hitting it a mile. Yeah, I mean, the 48-inch driver, I don’t know. If he uses it, there’s a chance he gains even more yardage.
“Hey, it’s something he’s found that’s working for him. It’s cool to see just kind of as like a fan of the game. I don’t see anything wrong with it. Hey, it’s working for him.”
Watch the CJ Cup throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins with Featured Groups on Thursday from 5.45pm on Sky Sports Golf and 10pm on Sky Sports Main Event.
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