With the PGA Championship coming to a close last weekend, it also puts the curtain on the final major for 2017
Justin Thomas got his hands on the final major of the year last Sunday, when he claimed the 2017 PGA Championship trophy by 2 shots. Thomas finished with a 3 under, 68, to finally distance himself with the rest of the field. Three players – Patrick Reed, Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen – were all tied for second place. Thomas showed great resilience down the back 9 to take home his first ever major. His putt on the 10th which took 12 seconds to drop, his chip in on the 14th for birdie and then a 15 foot putt on the 17th to clinch it were all shots worthy of winning any tournament. “As a kid growing up, you want to win all the majors. You want to win any major,” Thomas said after his two-shot victory. “For me, the PGA definitely had a special place in my heart, and maybe a special drive. It’s just a great win for the family, and it’s a moment we’ll never forget – all of us.” His long time friend Jordan Spieth was waiting on the 18th green to congratulate him even though his weekend didn’t go quite to plan, in a quest which saw him aiming to be the youngest ever to claim the career grand slam. Spieth will have to wait until next years event to try and claim the honor.
Hideki Matsuyama carried his recent form into the tournament and was unlucky to not come out with a higher finish. Matsuyama, who is bidding to become the first player from Japan to win a major, recovered from back-to-back bogeys with birdies on the 14th and 15th holes to get within one shot. Missing his par putt on the next hole proved to costly then for the Japanese star and there wasn’t enough golf left for him to recover. “The last major of the year, and I was in contention,” said Matsuyama, a runner-up at the U.S. Open. “All I can do is try harder next time.” One would think its only a matter of time before he finally gets over the line and delivers a major trophy that his game deserves.
Rory McIlroy had a solid final round to secure a top 25 finish but questions were left over his fitness again and if he has truly recovered from his niggling rib injury which he suffered earlier in the year. McIlroy has claimed that he was having back spasms in his final round which led to his left forearm going numb. He is now faced with the decision whether or not to sit out the FedEx cup, in which he is the defending champion of, or try to get his body back to 100% for next years season which includes the prestigious Ryder cup.
With four different major winners this year, it is nice to see that the sport is not being completely dominated by one or two individuals. With 3 American winners however, it really does begin to show the strength in depth of their potential ryder cup team and the players they have at their disposal.