After posting a score of fifteen under par, Justin Thomas took home the trophy at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational and got his third win of the season.
Thomas hit 58.93% of the fairways on the way to his win. If you saw any of Tiger Woods’ third or fourth rounds, you saw how difficult it was to play from the rough. The rain made the rough extremely thick and sticky, so finding fairways was critical. He also had his irons dialed in, tying for second in greens hit in regulation hitting fifty-four of seventy-two while averaging 1.667 putts per GIR.
We all knew Thomas was going to put on a show after he made four birdies in the first five holes of the tournament, but what stole the fans hearts and what I believe ultimately lead to his victory, isn’t something that a statistic can capture. In fact, it doesn’t have anything to do with golf at all.
Thomas had his grandparents in attendance this week, and spoke to the media following his victory about what having them there meant to him. “It was a lot of, I hate to say pressure, but it was”, Thomas said in a press conference post-victory, “I wanted to win with them here so bad.”
Thomas’ father and caddie, Paul Thomas, also spoke of the emotional win for his son. He stated that since his father is eighty-six and his mother is “right behind him” that it was “really something” for them to get to be there to see Justin’s win. While it was a special moment for the family, it was especially significant for Thomas’ father and grandfather, who are both PGA professionals. His grandfather even played in the 1960 PGA Championship and ended up making the cut as well.
Being able to capture this emotion and turn it into a drive to win is what really set JT apart from the rest of the field this week. In his post-tournament interview, Justin stated that he is “in a great place mentally” and is proud that he was able to stay calm and patient this week. If he’s able to carry this into next week, I’d say that he has a really good chance to defend his PGA Championship title this week because there is no one that can compete with Justin and his consistency when he’s hot like we saw this past week in Akron.