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Golf-Ralph Lauren drops sponsorship of Thomas after he uses homophobic slur

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Jan 15 (Reuters) - Apparel company Ralph Lauren said on Friday that they were discontinuing their sponsorship of 13-time PGA Tour winner Justin Thomas after he used a homophobic slur during the third round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii last week.

The world number three was heard via a television microphone uttering the slur after missing a five-foot putt on the fourth hole last Saturday. He later apologized, saying he made a "terrible judgment call" in the incident.

"We are disheartened by Mr. Thomas's recent language, which is entirely inconsistent with our values," Ralph Lauren said in a written statement.

"While we acknowledge that he has apologized and recognizes the severity of his words, he is a paid ambassador of our brand and his actions conflict with the inclusive culture that we strive to uphold."

The company added that it hoped the 27-year-old, who won the PGA Championship in 2017, "does the hard and necessary work in order to partner with us again." (Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)