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Justin Thomas to help with Titleist diversity training

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Justin Thomas will help Titleist with inclusion and diversity training of employees in the wake of his anti-gay slur last month at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawai'i.

Thomas said Tuesday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open that Titleist executives invited him to take part in the training during a talk Monday night.

"They sent that invitation out to me, and that's -- it's stuff like that to where just like they're wanting themselves to get better, they are offering me if I want to be a part of that, too," he said.

Thomas also apologized publicly for the first time to the LGBTQ community.

"I will say that I apologized many times for what I said, but I didn't publicly say, which I feel terrible about, that I didn't apologize to the people that were affected and offended by what I said, and I feel like I should take the time now to say that," Thomas said.

He said the fallout from his comment after missing a par putt at the fourth hole on the Plantation Course at Kapalua on Jan. 9 has been an "ongoing process" but also "clearly" has been a distraction.

Conversations with friends, family and sponsors have helped him get through the past four-and-a-half weeks, Thomas said, and that has left him "very optimistic about the growth that I can have."

"I don't expect to be a totally and completely different person now than I was then," Thomas said. "It's just like my golf game. I'm continuing to try to progress and get better each and every day and each and every week."

Thomas said his parents, Mike and Jani, were "worried sick" about him. "They just want to make sure I'm OK," he said. "That's the main purpose. I mean, no offense to them, but their job isn't to sign me up for stuff and to call and talk to me every day about certain educational things.

"I mean, they're parents. They're here to support me. They're here to love me. They're here to tell me that they're there if they need me, and they've been great because they're in a tough position to where they probably don't want to bring it up, but they also want to make sure that I'm OK."

Thomas also said Tuesday that he has not yet found another apparel sponsor after Ralph Lauren dropped him in the wake of the Hawai'i incident.

One upside of not having an apparel sponsor, Thomas said, was being able to wear whatever he wants.

"It's been enjoyable to try different clothing products and really just wear what I'm most comfortable in," Thomas said. "If I go to the mall and I see something I like, I see a shirt I like, I go home and I just get it embroidered with the Citi logo on the sleeve.

"It's definitely a bizarre and odd time and my closet is as empty as it's ever been, but at the same time it feels right because it's a fresh start, and hopefully will be like that."

Thomas is ranked third in the world and is coming off back-to-back third-place finishes at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.