Justin Thomas on new gluten, dairy-free diet amid health issues: ‘I want a pizza like you cannot imagine’

Justin Thomas will try and defend his PGA Championship title later this month

Justin Thomas, after several health issues plagued him last season, is testing out a new gluten- and dairy-free diet. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
Justin Thomas, after several health issues plagued him last season, is testing out a new gluten- and dairy-free diet. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

Justin Thomas is a few months into a new diet plan, and he’s struggling.

He’s still very much committed to his gluten- and dairy-free diet. But the cravings, he said Tuesday ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina, are really starting to drive him crazy.

“I want a pizza like you cannot imagine,” he said. “Like, I would do some really messed up things for a pizza just doused in ranch.”

Thomas has been in relatively good health through most of his career. But last season, he got pretty sick at a handful of tournaments. The heat got to him at multiple events, he said, and he just felt completely drained of all energy.

Then, after the final round of Tour Championship wrapped last fall in Atlanta, Thomas said he “threw up everything” in the locker room.

“It seemed like every time it gets hot, I’m so tired at the end of the day,” he said. “I’m tired when I wake up in the morning. So I just wanted to get it looked at.”

So, Thomas is now three months into a six-month dairy-free diet and a fourth of the way through a gluten-free diet.

“I definitely feel better and I feel like I have more energy when I wake up, my body's been feeling great, I've been moving really well … Obviously I'm hoping it works because it sucks not being able to eat anything good, but if I don't try it, I won't know if it works,” he said. “Hoping that it's something that's going to help me a lot and just a little trial and error kind of thing.”

Thomas is still searching for a win this season. He missed the cut at the Masters in April, which is his only missed cut so far this season, but he’s finished inside the top-10 just twice — most recently at the WM Phoenix Open in February. He’s dropped to No. 15 in the Official World Golf Rankings, which is his worst ranking since January 2017.

But with the PGA Championship just a few weeks away, where Thomas will try to defend the title he won last year in Tulsa, he’s just trying to get back into a regular groove.

“I had a really nice two weeks off,” Thomas said. “I didn't feel like I should have needed it as much as I did, but apparently I did and it was nice to just spend a week — I had some stuff going on the first week and got back and really was able to get into a nice routine and get a lot of practice in and just feel very rested and energized and ready to go. This is kind of a funky stretch here the next month and a half or so with one on, one off, but I feel like I'm making some moves in the right direction and excited to see some of it pay off.”