Justin Thomas is almost out of time. The two-time major winner was a late addition to the 3M Open, adding the Minnesota tour stop and next week’s regular-season finale at the Wyndham Championship to his schedule in hopes of earning his way into the FedEx Cup and supporting his case for Ryder Cup inclusion.
Unfortunately for Thomas his year-long struggles continued, as an even-par 71 on Friday ended his week early at TPC Twin Cities. He finished two rounds at a score of two under par and missed the four under cut. At times Thomas looked like the Thomas of old, racking up six birdies in Round 2. But he continues to be unable to keep the big numbers at bay, making two double-bogeys, including a 7 at the par-5 18th (Thomas’ ninth), where Thomas put two balls in the water. A switch to a new counterbalanced putter failed to produce dividends, as Thomas lost strokes to the field on the greens.
It was the fourth time in Thomas’ last five rounds that he failed to break par, and threatens to be his fifth missed cut in his last seven starts.
Thomas will have one more chance to make the PGA Tour’s postseason, needing a strong finish at the Wyndham to earn a playoff spot. His spot on the Ryder Cup team is more ambiguous. Certainly his recent form would suggest he doesn’t warrant a spot on the playing roster. Conversely, Thomas has emerged as the heart and soul of Team USA. He embraces the pressure, engages the crowd and, occasionally, enrages his opponents. Thomas has scored a whopping 17.5 points for the Americans across two Ryder Cups and three Presidents Cups.
Should he win or grab a runner-up at the Wyndham, Thomas will get at least two more weeks of an audition in the playoffs. But his season, and his chances to play in Rome, are essentially down to two rounds.