Justin Thomas was in the proverbial “zone” on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass, putting on a ball-striking display that Jim “Bones” McKay described as “Hoganesque” on the NBC broadcast en route to a one shot win at The PLAYERS Championship.
Thomas became only the fourth player to win a major, The PLAYERS Championship, FedEx Cup and a World Golf Championship.
It’s a huge championship, very special,” Thomas said. “It’s a tournament I’ve wanted to win, a tournament that I truly did feel like I was going to win at some point, and hopefully multiple times. I love the golf course. It was in incredible shape this week. The greens were so good. The fairways were perfect. Rough was long. Just a great test of golf. I mean, that’s why it’s a PLAYERS Championship.”
The win was the 14th of Thomas’ career and his first since his grandfather passed away on the Sunday of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
“Bizarre is probably an understatement. It’s been a crappy couple months. I’ve had stuff happen in my life I never thought I’d have happen, and I mean, losing grandpa was terrible, and having to play a round of golf dealing with that, and then on top of that not playing well, it just was a lot, and it took a lot on me mentally. At the same time, that’s just the way that it was.”
Thomas tied Fred Couples and Rocco Mediate for the lowest final 36-hole score in THE PLAYERS Championship history with 132 (64,68). His final round included hitting 17-of-18 greens in regulation, only missing the 18th and only missing that by a few inches.
“I fought so hard today,” Thomas said. “It’s probably one of the best rounds of my life tee-to-green. I’ve seen some crazy stuff happen on TV in the past, and I’m glad to be on this side of it.”
Thomas won $2.7 million from the $15 million purse for the victory.
Thomas outlasted Lee Westwood and Bryson DeChambeau for the victory. Westwood drained a birdie putt on No. 18 to finish in a solo second, topping DeChambeau by one shot.
“When you’re in contention, you’d like to win every tournament you’re playing in, but I didn’t quite have my game today. I don’t know what it was,” Westwood said. “Maybe I just haven’t played a lot of golf. I hate to say it, age is catching up with me. Yesterday I felt like my legs were just starting to get a bit tired and weak, and today I just didn’t feel like I had my legs under me. I was hitting shots I don’t normally hit.”
DeChambeau, who won last week at Bay Hill, was trending on social media after he topped a hybrid on the par-4 4th hole that traveled roughly 140 yards until it dunked into the water hazard.
“Golf. I was hitting it pretty good for the most part. I don’t know what happened on 4. That’s the game. I’m okay with it. Still smiling after. I fought really hard,” DeChambeau said. “Hat’s off to J.T. for playing the way he did on that back nine. It was very impressive. That’s why he’s one of the best players in the world and will continue to be one of the best players in the world for a long time.”