On Monday night your newest PGA Champion, Justin Thomas had dinner with a guy who’s won the event before too…four times to be exact.
That guy would be Tiger Woods, someone Thomas grew up watching both on television and in person.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) August 15, 2017
Thomas had the pleasure of witnessing one of Tiger’s most thrilling victories at the 2000 PGA Championship, thanks in part to his father, Mike Thomas, a PGA Professional. The 2000 PGA Championship was the third Major Woods’ won in 2000 as he was on pace to complete the ‘Tiger Slam’ the following season at the 2001 Masters.
Thomas’s friend, and fellow PGA Tour member, Rickie Fowler joined them for dinner as well. He later poked fun at himself for the lack of championships he contributed to that evenings’ threesome.
Like Tiger, Justin Thomas went right from the womb to the golf course, as he was the third generation of Thomas’ to make a name in professional golf.
His father, Mike, groomed his son to be an elite from day-one, but never pushed him to become a Major Champion…that was all on Justin to take care of.
— Titleist (@Titleist) August 14, 2017
The first thing Thomas’ father said to him when he got off the course at 18 on Sunday was simply: “I told him, that’s f—ing unbelievable.”
“This is pretty crazy, pretty surreal,” Mike Thomas said on after his son’s final round on Sunday.
“I never dreamed of him winning the PGA Championship. I’m just like any other parent. I hope he’s safe and I hope he’s happy. This is icing on the cake here. We are blessed to be where we are at today.”
With the PGA in his bloodline, the younger Thomas was filled with all sorts of emotion when accepting the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday.
“I just wish my grandfather was here to see this,” Justin said during a ceremony after his win.
When he was very young, the elder Thomas grew his son’s competitive spirit by wagering a dollar every time the two would play nine holes together.
“We’d play for a dollar. It was pretty heated out there… Now we're just enjoying the ride together.” -Thomas on playing golf with his dad pic.twitter.com/SFDZAAoLCd
— PGA of America (@PGA) August 14, 2017
Thomas now has plenty of Washington’s for some more rounds with Dad, unfortunately, the elder Thomas does not feel like taking a beating from his now Major Champion son.
“I can’t play with him anymore — it’s no fun,” Thomas’ father said jokingly.
It may not be fun for his father to play against him anymore, but it sure is fun to watch another budding star emerge on the PGA Tour in light of a passing of the torch from one generation to another. We will begin to see guys like Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, and Rickie Fowler battle it out on Sundays for years to come.