Justin Thomas clinches the season ending FedEx Cup as Xander Schauffele won the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Georgia. Schauffele held out under immense pressure from player of the year nominee Justin Thomas to clinch the tournament by a single shot. Justin Thomas won the $10 million dollar season ending bonus with a second placed finish, which was enough to edge out Thomas’ close friend Jordan Spieth.
The Tour Championship 2017: Justin Thomas Clinches FedEx Cup
Schauffele completes outstanding season:
With his victory at the Tour Championship on Sunday, Xander Schauffele completed an excellent first season on Tour. His win in Atlanta is his second of the season, unheard of for a PGA Tour rookie. Schauffele also won the Greenbrier Classic earlier in the year. He closed out his win on Sunday with a cool two-under 68. Schauffele’s win marks the first time a PGA Tour rookie has won the season ending Tour Championship. Schauffele seems to be blessed with natural tempo in his swing, which proved invaluable during a tense final round back nine. His swing did not fail him as he made crucial par saves on 14 and 17 to maintain his lead. Nor did it fail him when he needed birdie on the last to avoid a playoff with Justin Thomas, as he smashed a cool 320+ yard drive off the last tee.
With this week’s win Schauffele was catapulted into third place in the FedEx Cup rankings, quite possibly the highest finish by a rookie. He was also only one of two rookies to make it into the top 30 in the FedEx Cup and therefore into the Tour Championship. This makes him the obvious choice for the Rookie of the Year Award, which surely cannot go to anyone else.
Thomas crowns season with FedEx Glory
Justin Thomas has been almost unstoppable this year. Although Dustin Johnson was the main focus at the beginning of the season, Justin Thomas was quietly racking up wins. He has won five tournaments this year, including his maiden major at the PGA Championship. This made him only the fourth player to achieve a five-win season that includes at least one major.
It seemed that he was going to win six times in a season as he staged a run at Xander Schauffele on Sunday. Thomas was on fire on the back nine, making three birdies to finish a round of 66. His total of 11 under was only one off the lead of Schauffele, who needed a birdie on the last to pull away. What he did do was pull masterfully away from Jordan Spieth, who staged his own run at the FedEx Cup title as he holed out with a wedge for eagle on the tenth. Thomas put that charge to bed on the back nine with back-to-back birdies that Spieth was unable to match.
Thomas is fully deserving of the Player of the Year Award, in what has arguably been his breakthrough season on Tour. This is all despite the domination of Dustin Johnson early in the season, as he was unable to succeed in any of the majors, which I consider to be of paramount importance.
This Week on Tour:
On the European Tour, the British Masters will begin on Thursday. It is going to be hosted by legendary English golfer Lee Westwood at Close House Golf Course near Newcastle. It promises to be an exciting contest, with an exciting field including Rory McIlroy and Masters champion Sergio Garcia. The Presidents Cup also begins this week in New York. The International team and American team will fight it out at Liberty National Golf Club. It is certainly going to be extremely competitive, as both teams look extremely strong this year.
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