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Thomas to go through training program after anti-gay slur

Justin Thomas hits from the first tee during the first round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course on Jan. 7. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

The Associated Press

Justin Thomas intends to go through an individual training program to “become a better person” after he was picked up uttering a homophobic slur under his breath when he missed a putt at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month.

Clothing brand Ralph Lauren ended its long-time sponsorship with Thomas following the incident two weeks ago, which the No. 3-ranked American golfer described as “humiliating and embarrassing and it’s not me.”

Thomas has spoken to his other sponsors — Titleist, FootJoy and global bank Citi are among those listed on his official website — and hopes they will stand by him as he looks to educate himself and restore his reputation.

“It’s not a word I use,” Thomas said Wednesday, referring to the slur he blurted out when missing a 5-foot par putt on the fourth hole of the Kapalua Plantation Course, “but for some reason it was in there and that’s what I’m trying to figure out — why it was in there.

“And like I said, it’s going to be part of this process and training program, whatever I need to do, not only to prove to myself but to prove to my sponsors and prove to the people who don’t know who I am that that is indeed not the person I am.”

Pushed on the training program he intends to follow, Thomas said he would be keeping it “at a personal level.”

“Obviously people are going to be a part of that process,” he said. “But what I’m doing I’d like to keep internally and just go through the appropriate steps to get where I need to be and want to be, so people understand that’s not the person I am, the character I like to portray.”

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