Justin Thomas went dairy-free and gluten-free, and then he played his worst golf as a pro
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Justin Thomas went dairy-free and gluten-free, and then he played his worst golf as a pro

A photo of golfer Justin Thomas

There's never really a good time to go on a diet, and Justin Thomas learned that the hard way this year.

The two-time major winner started a diet in which he was committed to going dairy-free for six months and gluten-free for 12 months. As he was hitting the finish line for the dairy portion of the diet, things started to go downhill.

"I think like the six months was right when I was over in the U.K. for Scottish and British (Open), and I'm like I'm not going to start this back up in the middle of a tournament because I didn't know how my body was going to react. Literally not having anything for six months, I thought there was a chance my body would freak out," he said.

Then JT shot 82 in the first round of the Open and missed the cut by a mile.

"After shooting about 400 the first two days at The Open Championship, when I got to Minnesota I got a gluten-free pizza like on Monday or Tuesday and I swear I could have cried, it was so good," said Thomas, who is an avid pizza fan.

"I slowly implemented dairy again the next two weeks and I didn't feel any different, which I was shocked, to be honest. I was pleasantly surprised. I called [Dr. Ara Suppiah], who I've been working with. I'm like, I'm having gluten, I don't feel any different after having this again, so I'm going to have it and see how it is. And here we are."

Thomas started this diet because he had what he termed a "leaky gut" that was leading to energy loss, particularly when it was really hot outside. After having bloodwork done and going through testing for sensitivity to certain food groups, Dr. Suppiah suggested Thomas turn to this diet, that also included drinking a unique, yellow beverage that was to be mixed with some peach-flavored powder and a hydration packet.

“I’m hoping it works because it sucks not being able to eat anything good,” Thomas said in May at the Wells Fargo Championship. “But if I don’t try it, I won’t know if it works, you know what I’m saying? Hoping that it’s something that’s going to help me a lot and just a little trial and error kind of thing.”

Looking back on it, and perhaps making an unclear connection to his play this season, he seems to think it was an error.

"It wasn't exactly during my best stretch of golf, so I would say if I had it over, I would not do it," he said.

"Yeah, it's one of those things, I don't really give 50 percent too much. I feel like if I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it. I'm going to want to know how it is."

Some people diet better with an accountability buddy -- and Thomas might need one after this experience.

He said, "If you guys hear of me doing that again, tell me to stop."

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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