Justin Thomas became the first player on the PGA Tour to make it to four wins in 2017 when he captured the 99th PGA Championship at Quail Hollow this past weekend. With his first Major secure, Thomas can turn his attention to the PGA playoffs and the FedEx Cup.
We, on the other hand, will turn our attention to who may be in the running for player of the year. Spoiler alert: Thomas leads the pack.
We have put together a short list of potential, and likely, Player of the Year favorites:
This sure was a surprise, as Justin Thomas was just crowned the winner of the PGA Championship on Sunday. He joins a very elite company as himself, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Rory McIlroy are the only players to win this event before the age of 25.
Besides the PGA Championship, Thomas has won the CIMB Classic, SBS Tournament of Champions, and the Sony Open in Hawaii – those last two tournaments he won in back-to-back weeks.
Thomas has been relatively quiet in putting together this masterful season since most of the attention has been fixated on guys like Jordan Spieth completing the career Grand Slam or Rickie Fowler trying to reach his first Major.
Thomas' crazy major victory, Rickie teases us & Rahm's backward chip
The Takeaway pic.twitter.com/uCap0EbvGD
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 14, 2017
Much like Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama has also been quietly putting together a career-year. A week before the PGA Championship, Matsuyama put together an incredible final round at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, adding himself to a list of heavy favorites for the PGA.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 6, 2017
The WGC Bridgestone is one of Matsuyama’s four wins on Tour since the end of 2016. The others include: the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, Hero World Challenge, and the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Along with his victories, he finished in the Top-5 in both the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship, and Top-15 for The Masters and Open Championship.
Before his back injury at Augusta National, Dustin Johnson was on cruise control to begin the 2017 campaign. Can you blame him? DJ was pulling out all the stops after getting the monkey off his back by winning his first Major championship in 2016 (U.S. Open).
Johnson has sat as the Official World Golf No.1 since February when he leapfrogged Jason Day for the sport after winning the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club in Las Vegas. He would win both the WGC Mexico Championship and WGC Dell Technologies Match Play before injuring himself at The Masters.
Three wins is good, but it won’t be enough unless he shows us something during the FedEx Cup playoffs.
You can’t have this list without the phenom from Texas. Spieth faced some scrutiny heading into 2017 after his collapse in the 2016 Masters. He answered back with three wins on Tour. One of those being his epic comeback at The Open, when he put together one of the most historic six-hole stretches the game has ever seen.
His two other wins on Tour came at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and Travelers Championship (where he holed out from the sand for the win).
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) June 26, 2017
Spieth would have been a lock for Player of the Year had he won the PGA and completed the Grand Slam before turning 25. But alas, a friend took the W, which he can’t be too mad at.
Your last two major champions.
Best friends. 🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/wfLbz8oYS2
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 13, 2017