Before the PGA Championship, there were a few guys who could have claimed the right to win the award. Hideki Matsuyama is having the kind of breakout season that his home country of Japan has been anticipating for years.
Dustin Johnson went on a roll earlier in the season that made him appear to be unbeatable. Jordan Spieth has bounced back from a rather quiet 2016, to win three times this season.
His most recent victory, or course, came at the Open Championship.
As great as these three players have been this year, they pale in comparison to the guy who I fully anticipate will win the Player of the Year — Justin Thomas.
Talk about a breakout year.
This guy has been incredible this season. He began the season with a three-stroke victory at the CIMB Classic back in October of 2016.
Yes, I know it sounds weird to go back to 2016 when discussing this current golf season. The season technically begins in October, after the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs.
Anyway, Thomas followed up that victory by winning the Tournament of Champions on at Kapalua in January.
Then, his season truly became one for the ages. He shot a 59 in the first round of the Sony Open. That 59 began what would become a seven-stroke victory.
So, two weeks into January, and Thomas had already claimed three victories this season.
Fast forward to the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. Though he didn’t win this tournament, he had perhaps the round of the year. His third-round score of 9-under 63 marked the first time in major history that a player shot 9-under during a single round.
His victory at the PGA Championship was well deserving, and hard earned. Thomas has now reached the pinnacle of professional golf.
He is a major champion. Looking back at his year, it is truly remarkable to think about his 59 in Hawaii, his 9-under 63 at the U.S. Open, and the guts to pull off an incredible win at the PGA Championship.
Thomas seems like a great guy. His best friends on tour just happen to be Spieth and Rickie Fowler. This is a great sign for the U.S. Ryder Cup Team moving forward.
I’m happy for his success, and I suspect that he is hungry to do it again.