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An Ode to JT: A tribute to a girl’s favorite professional golfer, Justin Thomas.

I’ve been watching professional golf for my whole life. I grew up with PGA events on the TV, especially on Sundays between football games and commercial breaks. My television intake of golf increased with my competitiveness with the sport. I began favoriting players, and one of them rose to the top of my liking.

Justin Thomas is my favorite professional golfer. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama (Roll Tide) and has won 14 times on the PGA Tour since he turned pro in 2013.

If I remember correctly, I’ve liked JT since 2014, a year after his professional debut. I’m not sure what drew me to him. I think I figured that out as time passed, my golf game improved, and my love for him grew.

As I got more serious in my golf game, JT moved from being just my favorite golfer to my role model. I admire how he acts on the course, regardless of a few outbursts or slip-ups. I admire his confident attitude, swagger, and the slight tinge of arrogance when he knows he’s playing well. If you’re as good a golfer as Justin Thomas is, I think you’re allowed to be cocky.

I also adore JT’s golf swing. I find similarities between him and me regarding our technique and stature. I’m not the tallest person, standing at 5-foot-2 and 100 pounds, and neither is JT at 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds. However, the length that he hits the ball is insane for his build, and it’s something I can relate to. People always ask me how I drive the golf ball so far, and I reply, “I’m not sure. Probably just technique.” I’m sure JT would respond the same way.

I had the pleasure of watching Thomas play at the second round of the Northern Trust PGA tournament two years ago. I cherished every second of watching my idol play his sport, and I took inspiration from him. During my senior year golf season, I mimicked a part of JT’s pre-shot routine. Before taking a full swing at the ball, I took my club only part of the way back, checking the hinge in my wrist. This motivated me to hinge my wrists at the top of my backswing to get a full, powerful distance on my drive.

To this day, I write “JT” on my golf ball before every round I play. Justin Thomas was my first favorite professional golfer, and I don’t see that status ever-changing.

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