Jacksonville Sports Day

Thomas Takes Home the 2021 Players Championship with a Superb Sunday

Photo by Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

PONTE VEDRA BEACH — Justin Thomas rallied from three back to shoot with a 4-under 68 and win the 2021 Players Championship on Sunday.

Thomas is back in the winner’s circle for the first time since the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis last summer. He’s won a Tour event for the seventh straight year.

“I fought so hard today, stayed patient. Probably one of the best rounds of my life, tee to green,” Thomas said.

Thomas chased down Lee Westwood and Bryson DeChambeau.

As Sunday began, it looked like Westwood, the leader by two, and DeChambeau would again battle it out for the second straight week.

But neither had their best stuff on Sunday. That belonged to Thomas.

“I’ve watched this tournament for years,” Thomas said, “and I know lots of crazy things can happen.”

His consistency led to a one-stroke victory and his 14th on the PGA Tour. Thomas, 27, has also won a P.G.A. Championship and the 2017 FedEx Cup playoffs.
“I was bold when I had to be — I took risks,” Thomas, who finished the tournament at 14-under par, said. “But I was also patient when things didn’t go exactly as planned because you knew it was going to be that type of day.”
The PGA Tour shut down after one round of The Players a year ago.
Thomas was among those serving on the Player Advisory Council that was a part in getting golf back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Sunday Thomas took the tournament lead with an eagle on the 11th hole.
“I fought so hard today,” Thomas said. “It’s probably one of the best rounds of my life tee-to-green. I’ve seen some crazy stuff happen on TV in the past, and I’m glad to be on this side of it.”
It has already been well-documented that it has not been an easy start to the year for Thomas. He uttered a homophobic slur at the opener in Hawaii and was dropped by his clothing sponsor. He also lost his grandfather, PGA professional Paul Thomas last month.
“I did a lot of things — I talked to people,” Thomas said of how he has handled this rough road. “I’m not embarrassed to say that I reached out to talk to people to kind of let my feelings out and just discuss stuff. Some of the thoughts and things I was feeling, it wasn’t fair to myself, and I needed to do something.”
Thomas was outside the cut line after nine holes on Friday. He followed that with a 64 on Saturday to get in the mix, and he finished off in style to pick up $2.7 million.
“It’s been a bad couple of months,” Thomas said after Sunday’s win. “I told my family I’m ready for something good to happen this year. I would say this qualifies.

Final Leaderboard: Justin Thomas (-14), Lee Westwood (-13), Brian Harman (-12), Bryson DeChambeau (-12), Talor Gooch (-11), Paul Casey (-11)

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