By Mike Cullity of Global Golf Post.
Call it potential fulfilled.
Justin Thomas entered the 2016-17 PGA Tour season as a highly touted player who had perhaps underachieved. He finishes as a major champion with five victories and the FedEx Cup to show for his efforts.
The battle for the season-long prize and its accompanying $10 million bonus came down to Sunday’s final nine of the Tour Championship at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club, and for a while it appeared Jordan Spieth, who entered the tournament No. 1 in the standings, might prevail for the second time in three years. But after holing out for eagle on the par-4 10th hole, Spieth played even-par golf coming home on the way to a T7 finish in the tournament, while Thomas birdied three of the last seven holes. Thomas, a 24-year-old Kentuckian, finished 660 points ahead of his junior golf pal Spieth.
By failing to birdie the par-5 18th hole, however, Thomas opened the door for another young gun to win the tournament. Xander Schauffele, a 23-year-old Californian who won the Greenbrier Classic and finished T5 at the U.S. Open earlier this season, got up and down and take home nearly $1.6 million of his own. With his second PGA Tour victory, Schauffele marked himself a future star.
Justin Thomas started the year as the 22nd ranked player in the world and ended his stellar season inside the top-5 with the Presidents Cup and a hopeful U.S. victory in sight. If Thomas’ 2017 performance is any indication of what his future holds, we are in for a treat.
Republished with permission by Global Golf Post.