"There's absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that," Justin Thomas said

By Eric Todisco
January 10, 2021 11:30 AM
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Justin Thomas
| Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Justin Thomas has apologized after using a homophobic slur during the third round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii on Saturday.

The incident, which was picked up by a television microphone, occurred when the 27-year-old golf champion missed a 7-foot par putt on the fourth hole at the Kapalua Plantation Golf Course, leading him to say the offensive term under his breath.

"It's inexcusable," Thomas told the Golf Channel after the round. "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. But unfortunately I did it and I have to own up to it, and I'm very apologetic."

When asked what he would learn from the incident, Thomas said, "Like I said, it's inexcusable. I'm speechless. I found out when I got done on the golf course when I got done with my round. It's bad. There's no other way to put it. I need to do better. I need to be better."

"It's definitely a learning experience," the athlete added. "I just deeply apologize to anyone and everybody who I offended and I'll be better because of it."

According to CNN, the PGA Tour said in a statement that Thomas' actions were "unacceptable" and he is likely to be fined for conduct "unbecoming of a professional."

Justin Thomas
| Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty

Going into Sunday's final round, Thomas is tied for fifth place at 17-under, just four shots behind co-leaders Harris English and Ryan Palmer, according to Golfweek.

Thomas is the defending champion of the tournament. He also won in 2017 and 2019.