Ein a slim young man, 1.78 meters tall and weighing only 73 kilograms, has for the time being pushed the strength in the Gulf out of the headlines. With his $ 1.82 million win at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tennessee, a tournament in the World Golf Championship (WGC), Justin Thomas has risen to the top of the world rankings for the second time. In June 2018, he only held this position for four weeks. “I hope to stay number one longer this time. I think I’m a better and more complete player now than I was then, ”he said.
The 27-year-old American from Louisville (Kentucky), who now lives in Jupiter (Florida), where he often trains with his neighbor Tiger Woods, shone with his sensitivity in the last few meters to the green and hole. On Sunday, the new Primus on the TPC Southwind on holes 15 and 16 took off from his toughest pursuer, defending champion Brooks Koepka, with two birdies. Twice, he consistently took advantage of the unexpected chances that were offered to him after moving tees. Koepka still had the opportunity to pull a birdie at the last hole to catch up with Thomas playing in front of him and force a jump.
Family businesses on the road to success
But the 30-year-old American chose an overly aggressive line when teeing off. His ball landed in the water. After a double bogey, Koepka had to share second place with his fellow countrymen, 50-year-old Phil Mickelson and Daniel Berger, and Englishman Tom Lewis. In the end, Thomas achieved his third success in the 2019/2020 season with 267 (66 + 70 + 66 + 65/13 under par).
Three weeks ago, Thomas was three shots ahead of his American compatriot Collin Morikawa at the Workday Charity Open in Dublin, Ohio. “At that time I was thinking too much about victory,” recalled Thomas, who then failed and lost to the Morikawa in the jump-off. This time he remained completely focused on the here and now – and was able to celebrate his 13th victory on the PGA Tour. Only Woods, who was the only world-class player missing from this tournament, and the now 80-year-old golf legend Jack Nicklaus were younger when they reached this mark.
This noble society shows that the family business Thomas is consistently continuing on its successful course. Father Mike Thomas, the head pro at the Harmony Landing Country Club in Goshen (Kentucky), posed in the end with his son and trophy. Because as his son’s coach, he has a large share in success. When Justin was 18 months old, he first swung a golf club under Daddy’s guidance. The first tournament victories were not long in coming.
All balls with which his son achieved success from an early age are on display in Mike Thomas’ office – and the number is growing. At the age of 16, Justin Thomas, who his colleagues only call JT, made the cut at a PGA Tour tournament. In his first year at the University of Alabama, he was awarded the Haskin Award for Outstanding College Golfers.
In 2013 he moved to professional camp, qualified for the second division, today’s Korn Ferry Tour, won his first tournament in 2014 and went up to the PGA Tour in 2015, where he triumphed in Malaysia that year for the first time in November. His big breakthrough came in 2017, when he outperformed his competitors five times, including his only success to date with a major in the PGA Championship. The 102nd PGA Championship begins on Thursday at Harding Park in San Francisco. And of course Thomas is one of the big favorites alongside defending champions Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, who only finished 30th in Memphis.