Justin Thomas offered an apology after Saturday's third round of the 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions after he was told Golf Channel mics picked up him using a gay slur to himself after he missed a putt.
Thomas missed a 5-foot par putt on the fourth hole of the round at Kapalua Resort in Hawaii, and he said "f*****t" to himself as he went to clean up the next putt for bogey. The remark was aired on Golf Channel.
Big fan, not a great look.
— Imsolazy (@DustyBurlap) January 10, 2021
After the round, Thomas was made aware of the remark airing.
"It's inexcusable," Thomas said. "First off, I just apologize. I'm an adult. I'm a grown man; there's absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that. It's terrible. I'm extremely embarrassed. It's not who I am; it's not the kind of person that I am or anything that I do.
"Unfortunately, I did it, and I have to own up to it, and I'm very apologetic."
Thomas said he did not realize he had used the slur and only learned it afterward.
"I found out when I got done on the golf course or when I got done with my round," he said. "I mean, it's, it's bad. There's no other way to put it."
In a statement issued to reporters on site, the PGA Tour said, "As he expressed after his round, we agree that Justin's comment was unacceptable."
Thomas is likely to face a fine, as using obscenities on the golf course is an offense of the PGA Tour's player conduct code. The PGA Tour does not disclose penalties for players outside of those issued under the Tour's anti-doping program for use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Patrick Reed used the same slur in a similar situation, muttering to himself after a missed putt in the 2014 WGC-HSBC Champions in China. Reed later apologized.
Scott Piercy lost multiple endorsement deals last year after sharing an anti-gay meme on social media directed at former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.