U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson appeared in good spirits as he jokingly set the bar exceedingly high for Justin Thomas and Max Homa ahead of the Fortinet Championship on the PGA Tour.
Thomas is playing this week in a bid to find some much-needed form ahead of the Ryder Cup.
Whereas Homa is attempting to win this tournament for the third year in a row. The feat has been done before, by Steve Stricker, when he won the John Deere Classic in 2011 for a rare three-peat.
Only Tiger Woods has won four consecutive PGA Tour events in a row.
"Max and JT... I don't really want to speak on behalf of them, but if they don't play well, they may not play. That's the bottom line," Johnson told reporters with a stern face on a Zoom call before adding: "Kidding."
One of Johnson's vice-captains, Stewart Cink, then interjected: "There was a little hesitation there, did you see that?"
The Fortinet Championship is the first event of the new FedEx Cup Fall season.
GolfMagic has already written everything you need to know about the reimagined schedule.
Essentially, it features players who finished outside the top 70 in the FedEx Cup fighting for status and priority in 2024.
The aforementioned Thomas is one of these players. Thomas, 30, was the bubble boy despite and electrifying finish at the Wyndham Championship in early August.
Thomas' PGA Tour status, however, is not in danger for some time given he won the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills.
As for Johnson, the 47-year-old is also in the field in Napa, California.
Is there much value in preparing for the Ryder Cup by playing?
Johnson stated his team have already put in a lot of good prep, adding: "Well, I don't think it's ever bad to compete.
"That's what we're designed to do, that's where we're wired."
Has Johnson already worked out the team's pairings?
He said: "It's not like we have it set in stone yet. It's one of those areas that's really, really difficult, but it's also really, really exciting and fun to kind of start to see how this team can take shape."
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