Justin Thomas has ample reason to see the glass as more than half-filled, except that he plays golf for a living. The glass is never full enough to satisfy an elite golfer.
Consider his year going into the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
He won the Sentry Tournament of Champions and he added a second World Golf Championship title at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. That's four consecutive years of winning multiple PGA Tour events, the longest such streak since Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson from just over a decade ago.
But Thomas can't stop thinking about losing a three-shot lead with three holes to play at Muirfield Village in the Workday Charity Open. Or the 54-hole leads he had at the Zozo Championship at Sherwood last month and the Mexico Championship in February.
He had the 18-hole lead at the U.S. Open and shared the 36-hole lead at the Masters. He was within two shots of the lead going into the final round at Colonial.
“That's spoken like any golfer. I think it's always easier to look at the failures, or look at the things that went wrong, because that's what I'm able to build on and learn from,” he said Tuesday.
“It was weird because I really feel like I’ve done a great job of closing golf tournaments or playing well with the lead and doing well, but for some reason this year, I didn’t do that,” he said. “I just didn’t hit the shots I needed to, I didn’t perform the way I should have.”
But here's where the glass start to fill. Thomas figures he was close to having a monster year. It's asking a bit much to suggest he should have converted all those chances. He won at Kapalua only after Xander Schauffele three-putted for par from just off the 18th green.
Even so, he's not backing off his belief that winning eight times or more is feasible even in this era of depth. Woods (three times), Vijay Singh and Johnny Miller are the only players to do that in the last 50 years.
“I fully believe and think that’s possible,” Thomas said. “I understand in this day and age it is very difficult. I still see no reason why someone can’t win, eight, nine, 10, 11 times in a season. ... I was a couple rounds away in a short season from winning five or six times. But again, I was a couple shots away from not winning a couple times. It's how golf is.”