Justin Thomas: Hard to 'keep the killer instinct' when it's so quiet

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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – There was no shortage of reasons why Justin Thomas didn’t win the Zozo Championship after starting the final round with a one-stroke lead. Just ask him.

“You could say a lot of things,” said Thomas, who closed with a 69 and tied for second at Sherwood. “Making one birdie my last 12 holes out here, shooting even par on the back nine, playing the par 5s 1 under, you can name a lot of things.”

Zozo Championship: Full-field scores | Full coverage

But there was one element of his finish that he will spend extra time focusing on before next month’s Masters. Many players have talked about life on the PGA Tour without fans and how difficult it is to stay mentally sharp and on Sunday Thomas struggled.

“I’ve got to find a way to kind of just stay a little bit more focused out there,” he said. “It’s crazy, but sometimes it’s hard to just kind of keep the killer instinct and stay in the zone when it’s as quiet as it is out there. It’s tough, but we’re all dealing with it and I just have to find a little bit better way to cope with that.”

Thomas held a share of the lead for most of the afternoon until a bogey at No. 15 dropped him to 21 under and he failed to birdie the par-5 16th hole. His tie for second place was his third runner-up finish in his last 10 PGA Tour starts.