Shushing Si Woo Kim won match, but ‘pissed off’ Justin Thomas won Presidents Cup
Despite dropping his singles match to Si Woo Kim on Sunday afternoon at Quail Hollow, Justin Thomas still holds a 17-5-3 record in Cup matches. More importantly, after the Americans’ five-point Presidents Cup victory, Thomas has now been part of four winning Cup teams, including three of the Presidents variety, in five national-team appearances.
There’s no doubt about it: Thomas is the U.S. team’s new Captain America.
But unlike the old one, Thomas just doesn’t like shushing – or at least not when his opponent is doing it.
“Honestly, at the time, I was pretty pissed off,” Thomas said of Kim’s shushing of the home crowd on the par-4 15th hole on Sunday.
The match was already contentious, as a couple of holes earlier Kim had failed to concede a putt inside of 3 feet to Thomas, who made it anyway but was clearly miffed walking off the green. Thomas, no stranger to animated match-play interactions, responded at No. 15 by making a big par save and followed it with a delayed yet violent fist pump.
Kim matched Thomas to remain tied and quickly lifted his finger to his lips.
“I saw that Patrick [Reed] did it before (shushing the crowd at the 2014 Ryder Cup),” Kim said, “and yeah, J.T. give me fist pump, and then I had to do it. And I had to make it, and I made it. Then, like, yeah, I had to do something. I think that give me more energy.”
Added Thomas, who was already walking to the next tee before looking back to witness Kim’s shush: “It’s one of those things, I think when you’re in the moment, when you’re on the other side of it, it’s something that gets you motivated, gets you pumped up a little bit.”
The extra motivation, however, wasn’t enough for Thomas, who couldn’t convert a 9-foot birdie putt on top of the 10-footer that Kim made at the last. Kim’s make earned him the 1-up win over his fellow Players champion, who had beaten him, 6 and 5, at the 2018 WGC-Dell Match Play.
“I mean, he hit the shots and made the putts better than I did the last three holes or, really, the last nine holes when he needed to,” Thomas said. “So, I can say whatever I want about it, but he beat me, so he has the upper hand on me.
“But we won the Cup, so that’s all that matters.”