St. X grad Justin Thomas to turn pro; ex-Cat J.B. Holmes won't return this season

July 23, 2013 


Alabama's Justin Thomas hits his tee shot on the 15th hole during the final round of play in the NCAA men's D1 college golf championship against Illinois Sunday, June 2, 2013 in Milton, Ga.

JOHN BAZEMORE — Associated Press

Justin Thomas, a former St. Xavier standout who was the 2012 NCAA Player of the Year as a freshman and an integral part of Alabama's national-title team in 2013, told the Golf Channel that he will turn pro after the Walker Cup in September.

"It was so hard," Thomas, 20, said Monday night. "It was a great two years and I'll never forget what I went through with the team. To win nationals after what happened last year (losing in the 2012 finals), it was kind of the icing on the cake. It was the perfect way to go out."

Thomas, No. 4 in the World Amateur Ranking, told the Golf Channel that his plan after the Walker Cup, a match play tournament featuring the top amateurs from the United States, Great Britain and Ireland, is to try and secure a few sponsor exemptions during the start of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, and perhaps play a couple of weeks in Europe, before for Q-School.

This will be the first year that Q-School is not a shot at a direct route to the PGA Tour. Instead, the top finishers will receive Tour cards.

Thomas also still has next week's Western Amateur and the U.S. Amateur (Aug. 12-18) on his schedule.

Thomas has already played in four PGA tournaments and has made the cut three times. His best finish was a tie for 30th at this year's Travelers Championship.

"I feel like I'm ready and thought I was very comfortable in the events that I have played in," Thomas told the Golf Channel. "I'm really excited about the next few months."

Holmes not ready to return

J.B. Holmes announced on his Twitter account (@JBHolmesgolf) that he won't return to the PGA Tour this season.

Holmes, who broke an ankle while rollerblading in March, said "Rehab is going well but it looks like I am done for the year."

The former University of Kentucky and Taylor County High School standout added that he wants to be 100 percent before he returns to the tour.

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