Justin Thomas expressed regret Sunday for a homophobic slur he said in anger after missing a putt in in the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
The former No. 1, who’s captured 13 tournaments on the PGA Tour, said he was distracted in the final round by the “terrible, terrible mistake” he made in Saturday’s third round.
Thomas missed a short putt on the fourth hole and can be heard on the audio feed calling himself the slur in the clip below:
Thomas said he was sorry after realizing that a Golf Channel microphone caught him calling himself “faggot.”
“There’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that,” he said, per the New York Post. “It’s terrible. I’m extremely embarrassed. It’s not who I am.” He added that he was “very apologetic.”
On Sunday, Thomas reiterated his regret when asked if the uproar over his comment distracted his play.
“Obviously I had a lot of other things on my mind last night,” Thomas said in the post-tournament interview, above. “I mean, I apologized yesterday. I don’t need to explain myself. I clearly screwed up. I made a terrible, terrible judgment call.”
“But I thought a lot last night that, we grow a lot as people over time,” he continued. “I wish that I could learn to grow a different way than the way that I chose to do it, but unfortunately it’s in the past and there’s nothing I can do about it now. And again, it definitely was a distraction out there today. But now I just get to take time going forward and try to become better because of it.”
Thomas still managed to shoot a 66, missing the playoff by one stroke, The Associated Press reported. Harris English won the tournament.
Last year golfer Scott Piercy got dropped by several sponsors for posting a homophobic meme about former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. Golf Digest reported. He also shared a meme about QAnon.