The American, who has found his form in 2024 following a poor season last year, carded a two-under 69 at TPC Scottsdale, with Thomas struggling on the greens during the first round. Faced with just a 30 minute break before heading back out onto the course, a conversation with his caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, led to Thomas making an important and effective switch!
Ranked 99th in Strokes Gained: Putting (-1.06) for the first round, the 30-year-old revealed that he made a putter switch during the intermission, with Thomas returning to his eight-year-old Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5 to much success! Carding a six-under 65, he gained +1.89 strokes on the greens in his Friday afternoon round, which currently puts him seventh in Strokes Gained: Putting.
Speaking to the media, Thomas stated: “I hit like three 6-irons and one or two drivers. I hit more putts than anything, because like I said, that’s what I felt like held me back this morning. Actually I used a different — a very similar style but a different putter the first round and then switched in between rounds.”
The putter Thomas had put in play for the first round was a newer version of his Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5, with the American adding: “The putter I went back to the second round is my gamer, the one I’ve used for a long time and had a lot of success with. The one that I used this morning was just the new model of it.
“I had no intention of using it, but honestly my putter felt so bad the first couple days this week, after Pebble last week, that I just — I was putting with it, and it felt good. My speed was good with it. I was starting it on line. I wept with it. I felt like I had a lot better chance of making putts with that than the other one. I have full faith I would have putted the same with the other putter, but there’s something about using something you’re comfortable with.”
Sitting at eight-under for the tournament, Thomas is currently four shots back of leaders Andrew Novak and Nick Taylor. However, with half the field yet to complete their second rounds due to the weather halting proceedings, it remains to be seen where Thomas will finish going into rounds three and four.
One thing that is for certain is that Thomas seems to have recovered his form during 2024, with T3 and T6 finishes giving him an excellent start to the season. Just six months ago, his form was very different…
Following a number of missed cuts, he would miss out on the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in his career. Having not picked up a trophy since the 2022 PGA Championship, Thomas will hope the tide changes in Scottsdale.