I’d say an unknown golfer won the PGA Championship, but every golfer is unknown. While golf’s search for a superstar forges on, it may have found something inadvertently — a youth movement. Your 2017 PGA Champion is 24 years old. He looks like he’s 12, but his driver’s license says 24. World, meet Justin Thomas. Justin Thomas is the latest to join the 20-something, 1st-time Major winners list. Is anyone else noticing a trend here??
Of course, Thomas’ 1st Major victory should not be overshadowed by his age or lack of fame. Thomas put forth a courageous performance on Sunday. While Sunday at a Major is usually reserved for insurmountable pressure and Major blunders, Thomas held it together as if he’d been there before. To see Thomas’ final round scorecard, click here. Thomas’ 5-under play over a stretch of 11 holes (7-17) certainly did not go unnoticed. It ultimately landed him a 2-shot lead he would not relinquish. The runner-ups, all finishing 2 shots back (-6), were Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Reed, and Francesco Molinari. A smorgasbord of who’s who….
Did you ever hear the one about the South African, the American, and the Italian who walked into a bar??
Thomas’ Sunday afternoon didn’t get off to an ideal start, as his 1st tee-shot found the beach, as did his 2nd shot. After finding the green in 4 shots, Thomas made a crucial 14-foot bogey putt. Just as Jordan Spieth found out en route to his 2017 Open Championship, a bogey can be the best thing that ever happened to you. Thomas bounced back, with a birdie at the 2nd. Thomas attributed his victory to controlling his nerves in times of adversity during his final round.
Of his 6 birdies on Sunday, he produced 2 memorable moments. After hitting a seemingly perfect putt on the par-5 10th hole, Thomas’ ball hung up on the lip of the cup for upwards of 10 seconds before finally dropping (no jumping up and down required). And perhaps the most memorable and important birdie could be found on the 13th hole, as he chipped-in from just off the green. The crowd erupted, and Thomas would carry that momentum to his 1st Major victory. With this victory, Thomas now ranks as the #6 golfer in the world.
That trophy looks too big for Master Thomas doesn’t it??
Thomas’ victory walk included hugs from golf’s most talented youngins, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth. Fowler and Spieth’s support, rather than jealousy, was evident. Spieth was purely happy for Thomas, as they are longtime friends. Fowler’s 1st Major victory as well as Spieth’s quest for the career grand slam will have to wait at least 1 more year. Knowing Spieth’s competitive nature, I’m sure he’d love to battle his friend, Justin Thomas, in the final group of next year’s PGA Championship.
Has golf found a new friendly rivalry between Spieth and Thomas?? Or will Justin Thomas be another flash in the pan?? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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