Justin Thomas has apologised for an “inexcusable” error after a homophobic slur was picked up during the Tournament of Champions.
Thomas missed a relatively short par putt during his third round at the season-opening PGA Tour event at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort.
It was his reaction to the missed that caused controversy, with microphones at the Tournament of Champions picking up Thomas muttering the word “faggot”.
He made the homophobic slur – aimed at himself – as he tapped home the subsequent bogey putt. The incident can be seen below:
After the incident caused controversy on social media, Thomas was quick to apologise in the aftermath of his third round in a Golf Channel interview.
Sitting in fifth place overall on 17-under par, Thomas is bidding to go back-to-back at the Tournament of Champions having won in 2020. He also won at Kapalua in 2017.
“There’s no excuse,” Thomas said. “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 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.
“Like I said, it’s inexcusable. I’m speechless. 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.
“I deeply apologise to everybody and anybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”
The PGA Tour issued a statement following the incident, for which Thomas is likely to face a fine.
The PGA Tour statement read: “As he expressed after his round, we agree that Justin’s comment was unacceptable.”