Former Alabama Men’s Golfer Justin Thomas Wins PGA FedExCup
Former Alabama men’s All-American golfer Justin Thomas finished runner-up at the season-ending Tour Championship on Sunday at East Lake Country Club. As a result, Thomas took home the lucrative FedExCup trophy and the $10 million bonus that comes with it.
Thomas’ 3,000 points in the FedExCup standings bettered that of second-place finisher Jordan Spieth. Xander Schauffele finished third in the standings, followed by Dustin Johnson and Joe Rahm to round out the top five. Thomas ended the year with five victories, 10 top-five results and 12 top-10 finishes on the year.
"It's a really weird day," Thomas told Dan Hicks of NBC. "It's hard at first, because as a competitor, you're mad you didn't win the tournament. Then you have to realize what an unbelievable honor this is, the fact that you can win something over the course of an entire year.
"Like (PGA Tour commissioner) Jay (Monahan) said, I played really well all season. It was nice to play well in some playoff events finally and have it all pay off. It was grueling day for sure and very nerve-wracking, but Xander is a tremendous champion and I'm very pleased to be walking away with this."
“What a special year this has been for Justin,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said. “I am very thankful that I was able to witness him in-person win the FedExCup and, more than likely, clinch the PGA Player of the Year award. At the age of 24, to accomplish what he’s done, it is truly phenomenal.
“I’ve known Justin for a long time throughout his recruiting process and during his time here at Alabama,” Seawell continued. “Anytime you have a former player that does something special, it’s a great feeling because you know how hard they’ve worked. That’s the reason we coach. I am no longer a part of Justin’s day-to-day life, but it just makes me so proud to see someone, who always talked about these types of dreams and goals while he was here at Alabama, be able to accomplish almost everything he’s set out to do.“
Thomas earned the trophy, capturing five tournament victories on the year, including the PGA Championship – his first career major win. With that, Thomas became one of just four golfers since 1960 to claim five victories in the same PGA Tour season before the age of 25. He joined elite company, standing alongside Jack Nicklaus (1963), Tiger Woods (1999 and 2000) and Jordan Spieth (2015) as the only PGA golfers to accomplish the feat.
Thomas, who is thought by many to be a favorite for the PGA Tour Player of the Year, began the season with victories in three of his first six tournaments, including the CIMB Classic, SBS Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open in Hawai’i. He also claimed medalist honors at the Dell Technologies Championship, in addition to the PGA Championship.
Earlier in the year, Thomas became the youngest player in PGA Tour history to break 60 in a round with his first round 59 at the Sony Open. Furthermore, Thomas set a FedExCup Playoff record during the third round of the Dell Technologies event when he recorded 12 3s on his scorecard to finish with an 8-under 63 – just one stroke off the course record.
During his career at Alabama (2011-13), Thomas helped lead the Tide to the 2013 NCAA National Championship – the first in program history. The Goshen, Ky., native also became the first Alabama golfer to earn the Haskins Award and the Nicklaus Award, presented to the National Player of the Year, and the Phil Mickelson Award as the National Freshman of the Year. He was a two-time first team All-American and was also named the 2012 Southeastern Conference Golfer of the Year and Freshman of the Year.