PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Jim Furyk was talking about the Ryder Cup a few years ago when he brought up the idea that losing hurts worse than winning feels good.
There might be some merit to it beyond the Ryder Cup.
"I've had arguments with people about this. Do you love to win or do you hate to lose," Justin Thomas said earlier this year.
Thomas, who won in Malaysia late last year, already has gone through a few disappointments. He was close in Palm Springs as a rookie until he found a bunker off the tee with an iron and then the water, costing him a shot at the tournament. He narrowly missed out on the Tour Championship last year, after first being told he was in.
But his worst loss?
"What hurt the most? Losing nationals was terrible," he said.
That would be the NCAA Championship, when Texas beat his Crimson Tide and Thomas lost his match to Jordan Spieth, who holed out for eagle from the 15th fairway.
"I was so mad at myself when we lost to Texas and I lost to Jordan," he said. "I win my match and we're national champions. I put the blame on myself. We were by far the best two teams. We were both No. 1 on each team. It was such a hyped match."
That was in 2012. Spieth turned pro later that year and Thomas stuck around college one more season and the Tide won the national title.
Still, his stronger memories are losing to Texas.
"I'm still not over it if you can tell," he said with a smile.
He was thrilled to have won his first PGA Tour event at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia by one shot over Adam Scott. And how long did that feeling last?
"Probably until the next Wednesday in the pro-am in China when it was 55 degrees, raining sideways and I couldn't talk to anyone in my group," Thomas said.
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