Justin Thomas understands sponsor's stance after slur

Justin Thomas said he understands the decision that endorser Ralph Lauren made to cut ties with him and that he's been in touch with all of his sponsors in the aftermath of an anti-gay slur he uttered in frustration on Jan. 9 in Hawaii.

Thomas, 27, the third-ranked player in the world, uttered the profanity in anger after missing a par putt during the third round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions. It was picked up by greenside microphones, and Thomas apologized after the round and again the following day.

On Friday, the clothing company that Thomas has been with since 2013 dropped him because of the matter.

"They had to do what they had to do,'' Thomas said Wednesday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, where he is competing in the European Tour event this week. "They are a huge, global brand, and I have to respect their decision. I wasn't disappointed, because I put them in a terrible position. I was just more upset. I had a great relationship with a lot of people there.''

Thomas reiterated that he is hoping to learn from what happened and move on in a positive way.

"I'm clearly not proud of what I said; it's humiliating. It's embarrassing,'' he said. "It's not me. It's not a word that I use, but for some reason, it was in there. And that's what I'm trying to figure out as to why it was in there.

"It's going to be part of this process and training program or whatever I need to do, not only to prove to myself but prove to my sponsors and prove to those people who don't who know I am that that is indeed not the person I am.''