Justin Thomas is not going to be one of those pro golfers who will be putting more frequently with the pin in the cup as a result of the new Rules of Golf for 2019.
Under the new golf rules, golfers are now allowed to putt on the green with the flagstick in, leaving it in the cup throughout the stroke. Previously, a golfer was penalized if they made a putting stroke with the ball on the putting surface and the ball hit the stick. This rule change, one of many new golf rules changes, was designed to speed up the game for amateurs who might just want to putt quickly and keep going.
However, the rule change has inspired the likes of Bryson DeChambeau to say he would be putting exclusively with the flagstick in the cup. He has said his research suggests keeping the flagstick in for every putt gives him a better chance of making the putt because of the flagstick's coefficient of restitution (COR), which is a measure of how much energy is delivered from one object to another at impact.
Thomas isn't going to be one of the guys buying into that argument.
"I mean if I have an 8-footer to win a golf tournament, I can't -- I mean no offense, I can't really take myself seriously if I kept the pin in," Thomas said Tuesday at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. "I mean it just would be such a weird picture and like on TV me celebrating and like the pin is in and my ball's like up against it. And so I don't know, to me that's one thing. But, yeah, I guess there's some instances in tournaments where the pin is really the only thing that can stop it, that's one thing. But if I have a putt I'm trying to make that thing's coming out."
Thomas said it wasn't a visual distraction to keep the pin in; he just thinks it looks ridiculous for a pro to do it.
The 2017 PGA champion surely won't be the only player to get this question in the opening weeks of 2019, but his answer will likely be echoed by many a pro.