Justin Thomas was made to be a major champion. Groomed from basically birth, he followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, becoming a PGA professional and riding alongside Jordan Spieth the whole way.
It’s this friendship and “rivalry” that fueled Thomas’ first major win.
Justin and Jordan.
From minors to majors. ?? pic.twitter.com/vmcZX4b6BX
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 13, 2017
Spieth and Thomas have been friends for quite some time, as you can see from the picture above. With both of them going pro around the same time (a year apart), Spieth has been the one making headlines. Spieth’s most recent major win at the Open sent Thomas into a frenzy, drinking from the Claret Jug without the actual W made him want more.
“Frustration probably isn’t the right word. Jealousy definitely is,” Thomas joked. “There’s no reason to hide it. I would say anybody, they are jealous that I won. I was jealous that Sergio [García] won, that Brooks [Koepka] won, that Jordan won. I wanted to be doing that, and I wasn’t.
“There’s only four of them in a year and to be one of them, a major champion, is really cool. I know that ‘major champion’ will never be taken away from after my name. Hopefully, I’m going to win some more, plenty more, a lot more, whatever. I know you can’t get to two unless you get one. It’s huge for me.”
And it is huge. Thomas now has one leg up over another friend of his, Rickie Fowler. Fowler has been chasing a major victory for quite some time now, coming up short with a Player’s victory instead. With this win, Thomas can now grasp at other accomplishments, like a grand slam, that he didn’t have the chance at before.
Thomas also attributed this win and the start of his career to Tiger Woods. We forget that although he isn’t in the field right now, he instilled a passion in the players that are there now. All of these young guys grew up watching Tiger and who wouldn’t want that kind of heroic golf to be a part of their lives some day?
The first tournament Thomas remembers going to was the 2000 US PGA at Valhalla as a seven-year-old spectator. And who won that tournament? None other than 14-time major winner Tiger Woods.
“I wanted to play professional golf, but being at the PGA that week and just hearing the roars, [seeing] what Tiger was producing out there … him and that week was the reason that I was like, ‘OK, this is really what I want to do.’ And then to have him basically cheering me on, how he’s been this week, it’s bizarre, it really is.”
Tiger congratulated Thomas on twitter, as did many other PGA Tour pros. The camaraderie among the players these days is remarkable, and that includes Woods.
Congrats JT!!!! Way to rise above the carnage and out execute everyone on that back nine. @JustinThomas34
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) August 13, 2017
Justin Thomas now has five victories under his belt from this season alone. He is now second in the FedEx Cup points ranking and tied for 6th in the OWGR. 2017 is only the beginning for this major champion.