Justin Thomas wins his first major on Ben Hogan’s birthday

David Lord Columnist

By , David Lord is a Roar Expert

Tagged:
 , ,

1 Have your say

    Justin Thomas is the latest first-time major winner after taking out the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow by two strokes.

    And he probably doesn’t know it yet, but golf legend Ben Hogan was born on 13 August 105 years ago on his way to capturing nine majors, and one of only five who have won the four majors in their careers with Gene Sarazen, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods.

    Yesterday I suggested Justin Thomas was an omen bet as the previous three major champions this year – Sergio Garcia (Masters), Brooks Koepka (US Open), and Jordan Spieth (The Open) all have six letters in their Christian name, and six in their surnames.

    Justin Thomas makes it four from four.

    And when you look back on the final day’s play, only Thomas went out to win, the rest tried not to lose.

    Thomas was positive from the get go, and even though there were times his aggression got him into trouble, his level head took over to keep his card well clear of any blow outs.

    It’s a pity Jason Day hasn’t the same mindset, piling on a quadruple bogey eight on the final hole yesterday which killed his chances of victory when he was well in the mix.

    But even though Thomas was at all times positive and aggressive, during the homeward nine there were five on top of the leaderboard on seven-under – Thomas, playng partner Hideki Matsuyams, third round leader Kevin Kisner and Chris Stroud last week’s champion, with Louis Oosthuizen.

    Francesco Molinari, and Patrick Reed just a shot off the pace.

    It was no place for the faint-hearted, and Thomas was the standout.

    The crunch came at the par three 17th – a brute of a hole with plenty of water.

    Thomas was in the second last pairing with Matsuyama, and first off the tee.

    Thomas smacked a seven iron when everyone else was hitting five irons.

    By now Thomas was sniffing victory, and he gave that seven iron all the adrenalin that was building up, and it stopped six feet from the flag.

    It was the shot of the day under the circumstances, and the birdie gave Thomas a two-shot buffer playing the last.

    And that was that, Justin Thomas home by two, and for the 24-year-old, the start of a glittering career.

    Interestingly, the big guns didn’t fire.

    Pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy sure wasn’t happy with his one-over par saying – “You might see me again this year, but then you mightn’t.”

    McIlroy is not a dummy spit golfer.

    Word number one Dustin Johnson finished nine shots off the pace, with a 68.

    And Jordan Spieth, fresh from his Open Championship success, and having his last chance to become the youngest ever to win a career slam, never got started, finishing two over.

    The biggest disappointment was Hideki Matsuyama’s lack-lustre weekend when he was eight under after two rounds to finish five-under today.

    But the best man won, and for the grandson of a pro golfer, and the son of a pro golfer, it was a very professional finale.

    PGA Championship leaderboard

    8-under – Justin Thomas.
    6-under – Francesco Molinari, Patrick Reed, Louis Oosthuizen.
    5-under – Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama,
    4-under – Graham DeLaet, Kevin Kisner.

    Selected

    1-under- Chris Stroud, Jason Day.
    Even – Dustin Johnson, Marc Leishman, Brooks Koepra, Henrik Stenson.
    1-over – Rory McIlroy.
    2-over – Jordan Spieth
    8-over – Adam Scott.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn’t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world’s great sporting spectacles