July 8, 2020 / 5:58 PM / a month ago

PREVIEW-Golf-Thomas eager to solve Muirfield puzzle

July 8 (Reuters) - Justin Thomas has been anything but consistent at Muirfield Village Golf Club but will have plenty of time to get a handle on the Dublin, Ohio layout as it will host back-to-back PGA Tour events starting with this week’s Workday Charity Open.

In six visits to the Jack Nicklaus-designed course for the Memorial Tournament, Thomas missed the cut in 2015, 2016 and 2019. He tied for 37th in 2014 and finished in a share of fourth and eighth places in 2017 and 2018.

“I’ve had some good finishes, but it seems to be few and far between. It seems to be a top-10 or a missed cut,” said world number five Thomas.

“There’s obviously some things that I need to figure out about this golf course and things I need to do better.”

Thomas is one of the favourites in a field that includes world number two Jon Rahm, three-times major winner Jordan Spieth, Englishman Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson and last week’s runner-up Matthew Wolff.

This week’s event is being played at Muirfield Village in place of the John Deere Classic, which was supposed to be held in Illinois but was cancelled due to state-related challenges regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the PGA Tour returned in June after a three-month COVID-19 hiatus, Thomas followed two top-10 finishes with a missed cut before taking last week off.

Thomas expects to have a chance to collect his 13th PGA Tour win.

“I’m taking these practice days probably a little bit more seriously and trying to figure out why I haven’t done as well those years,” said Thomas.

“Obviously not playing well is a big part to do with it, but I still feel my game is good enough where I should never miss a cut a couple times at a place that I feel fits my game like this one does.”

Whatever happens, Thomas will stick around at Muirfield Village as it will host a stellar field for next week’s Memorial Tournament, one of the biggest events outside the four majors. (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)

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