BROOKLINE, Mass. -- Justin Thomas is one of the biggest Red Sox fans on the PGA Tour.
Despite being born Kentucky, quite a long way from historic Fenway Park in Boston, Thomas always liked the Red Sox. But it was a special connection with a family member that really helped him develop a strong love for the historic MLB franchise.
"My uncle is from (around) this area and he's a big Red Sox fan," Thomas said Monday at The Country Club in Brookline, the site of the 2022 U.S. Open.
"It was something that -- no birthday or Christmas gift that was for me, from him, was anything but Red Sox. I had a lot of jerseys, t-shirts, hats and blankets.
"My first actual Red Sox jersey was a David Ortiz jersey. I think I even had a (Jason) Varitek one."
Thomas' uncle took him to a few Red Sox games against the rival New York Yankees, both at Fenway Park and the old Yankee Stadium. It didn't take long for Thomas to realize the intensity of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.
"He took me to a Red Sox vs. Yankees game at Fenway for my birthday one year, which was really cool," Thomas said. "I was probably 12. We went to a Red Sox vs. Yankees game at the old Yankee Stadium. I remember because I had my Nomar (Garciaparra) jersey on and I was getting yelled at and cussed at and given the finger, and I was like nine years old. That was my first introduction to the Red Sox vs. Yankees rivalry."
Thomas, who won the PGA Championship last month, is among the top contenders to win the U.S. Open this week. It's a tournament he has never won, although he has placed in the top 10 twice -- 2017 (T-9th) and 2020 (T-8th).
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