ROME - Justin Thomas says he hasn't kept the receipts of those who criticised his inclusion in Team USA's Ryder Cup squad.
Both sides arrived here at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club on Monday.
For his part, European captain Donald claimed we shouldn't read too much into who was playing with whom.
The two-times major champion, now 30 years old, boasts a stellar record in the contest at 6-2-1. He's similarly emphatic in the Presidents Cup.
But this is different.
We can expect to see Thomas in the fourballs given he's 3-0-0 in that department over his two Cup appearances.
And despite being just as strong in the singles, there was widespread condemnation that Thomas received a captain's pick.
Ryder Cup Practice Pairings pic.twitter.com/EkeMYzVtTW— Andy Roberts (@AndyRobertsGolf) September 26, 2023
Make no mistake, there is a target on the back of JT and he knows as much. He could prove vital if Team USA are to win on European soil for the first time in more than 30 years.
And Thomas could also end up being an issue, given that his recent form isn't stellar.
Six missed cuts in 21 appearance on the PGA Tour, being a non-factor in the majors and missing the postseason doesn't sound very much like JT.
Thomas conceded he was very, very fortunate to be here but told a pool of reporters in Italy on Tuesday he isn't paying attention to the noise.
Asked if he had blocked out 'the chatter', Thomas replied firmly: "I definitely haven't kept the receipts."
His captain Johnson hasn't seem bothered at all by all the talk surrounding Thomas.
The 47-year-old U.S. skipper confirmed he leaned heavily on the six automatic qualifiers over the six choices that were available to him.
Thomas said he told Johnson: "Look, obviously, of course, I want to be on the team. I think that I can compete and that I can go out there and I can do great for the team. But at the end of the day, if the six guys in that room don't think that I'm what's best for the team, then I don't deserve to go.
"That's been my thought the whole time, and I'm very glad that they did and do have faith in me.
"And now that I'm here, all of us hold the same weight as the other one. We are all one, and it's just our job to go out there and try to win points."
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