Posted August 6, 2018 in "Watts" In The Bag by Trevor Cigich
Justin Thomas’ ninth PGA Tour victory came with little drama, as the 25-year-old Kentuckian easily outplaced the likes of Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and others.
Thomas has been outstanding this season, arriving at Firestone with two victories, 14 top-25 finishes, and only two missed cuts, but his most recent triumph, a playoff win at the Honda Classic, came nearly six months ago. Now he heads to St. Louis for his PGA Championship defense with a solid victory against one of the top fields in golf that was projected to move him to No. 2 in the world.
In Akron, Thomas enjoyed the added bonus of having his grandfather and grandmother following him around and being there for the winning moment.
“I’m glad I finally played well around here, just in time for the tournament to leave,” Thomas said, alluding to the WGC event’s impending move to Memphis. “I got a little choked up when I saw Grandma and Grandpa here.”
His week started well with four birdies in his first five holes on the way to an opening 65, and a Friday 64 put him into a tie for the lead through 36 holes. He separated himself with a Saturday 67 that featured six birdies and three bogeys and closed with a 69.
Thomas looked sharp in all areas of his game, particularly his distance-control coming into the greens. He led the field in strokes gained approaching the green and ended third for the week in strokes gained putting.
While Thomas had no problem holding off the field on Sunday, several players gained crucial FedEx Cup and Ryder Cup points. Kyle Stanley (closing 68) finished second – he also finished runner-up in Ohio earlier this year at the Memorial Tournament – and is now No. 18 in the FedEx Cup race. Dustin Johnson and Thorbjøn Olesen closed with 64s to tie for third, while Brooks Koepka shot 67 to finish fifth.
The week started with a lot of optimism for Tiger Woods, who shot 66-68 to be in a nice position heading to the weekend. However, he faltered with consecutive 73s and finished T31 in the 71-man field. He sits 46th in the FedEx Cup standings.
Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 60TX
3 Wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Tensei Blue 80TX
5 Wood: Titleist 915Fd (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2 Tour Spec X
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM5 (56-14F), Vokey SM6 (46-08F, 52-12F, 60-12K)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue (46-60), Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 (60)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T X5
Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord 58R grips with one wrap of 2-way tape