2017 PGA Championship: Justin Thomas' First Major Win

2017 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas holds the Wanamaker Trophy aloft.
Justin Thomas shows off his latest trophy after winning the 2017 PGA Championship. Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The week of the 2017 PGA Championship began with the focus on Jordan Spieth, who was trying to complete a career Grand Slam. It ended with one of Spieth's childhood buddies, Justin Thomas, as the champion instead.

Quick Bits

  • Winner: Justin Thomas, 276 (scores below)
  • Dates: Aug. 10-13, 2017
  • Golf Course: Quail Hollow Club
  • Tournament number: This was the 99th PGA Championship.

How Justin Thomas Won the 2017 PGA Championship

Thomas and Spieth were friends from a young age in junior golf.

Both played in a PGA Tour event for the first time at age 16. Both won PGA Tour titles at young ages (19 for Spieth, early 20s for Thomas). And Spieth, typically, was the leader.

At the 2017 PGA, it was Thomas who was out front.

A month earlier, Spieth won the 2017 British Open, his third major title to go with wins in the Masters and U.S. Open. At this tournament, Spieth was trying to become the youngest golfer to complete a career Grand Slam (wins in all four of the professional majors). But that quest was essentially over after Spieth shot 72-73 in the opening two rounds. He finished tied for 28th place.

Thomas had his own 73 in the first round, but rebounded with a 66 in Round 2. At the halfway mark, Thomas was tied for seventh place, five strokes behind the co-leaders, Kevin Kisner and Hideki Matsuyama.

Matsuyama was another golfer considered one of the favorites entering the tournament: He won the week before at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.

After Round 3, Matsuyama was tied for second place with Chris Stroud at 6-under, one back of Kisner. With a third-round 69, Thomas moved into a tie for fourth place with Louis Oosthuizen at 5-under, two off the lead.

Thomas' Final-Round Push

Thomas' final round got off to a poor start: a bogey on the first hole.

He recovered with a birdie at the second, but another bogey followed at No. 3. From that point, however, Thomas recorded five birdies against only a meaningless final-hole bogey.

The final round of the 2017 PGA Championship had a lot of back-and-forth among various golfers chasing the lead, and at one point early on the back nine there were five golfers tied for the lead.

After a birdie on No. 9, Thomas was one off the lead then held by Matsuyama. Another birdie on No. 10, combined with bogeys by others, put Thomas into the lead for the first time. They were great birdies, too: a 36-foot putt on the ninth; on the tenth, Thomas' ball sat on the lip of the hole for several seconds before dropping in.

Even better was a chip-in from 40 feet off the green for another birdie at No. 13. With Thomas making birdies, his top competitors struggled to keep up.

Quail Hollow, hosting its first major championship, has a 3-hole final stretch known as "The Green Mile" for its toughness. Most golfers played that stretch, Nos. 16, 17 and 18, several strokes above par for the week. But on the weekend, Thomas was even par.

In Round 4, Thomas clinched the win with a birdie on the 17th hole to get to 9-under and a three-shot lead.

He finished at 8-under 276 after that final-hole bogey.

Final Scores at the 2017 PGA Championship

Results from the 2017 PGA Championship golf tournament played at the par-71 Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina:

Justin Thomas73-66-69-68--276
Francesco Molinari73-64-74-67--278
Patrick Reed69-73-69-67--278
Louis Oosthuizen70-67-71-70--278
Rickie Fowler69-70-73-67--279
Hideki Matsuyama70-64-73-72--279
Graham DeLaet70-73-68-69--280
Kevin Kisner67-67-72-74--280
Matt Kuchar71-74-70-68--283
Jordan L Smith70-75-70-68--283
Jason Day70-66-77-70--283
Chris Stroud68-68-71-76--283
Dustin Johnson70-74-73-67--284
Marc Leishman75-71-71-67--284
Brooks Koepka68-73-74-69--284
Ryan Moore71-71-73-69--284
Brian Harman69-75-71-69--284
James Hahn73-70-71-70--284
Henrik Stenson74-70-70-70--284
Paul Casey69-70-74-71--284
Scott Brown73-68-70-73--284
Rory McIlroy72-72-73-68--285
Ian Poulter74-71-71-69--285
Robert Streb74-70-70-71--285
Chez Reavie72-70-70-73--285
Gary Woodland68-74-69-74--285
Grayson Murray68-73-69-75--285
Jordan Spieth72-73-71-70--286
Richard Sterne73-72-70-71--286
Pat Perez70-76-69-71--286
Byeong Hun An71-69-74-72--286
J.B. Holmes74-73-67-72--286
Webb Simpson76-70-72-69--287
Bud Cauley69-74-74-70--287
Keegan Bradley74-70-73-70--287
Lucas Glover75-70-72-70--287
Jason Kokrak75-70-72-70--287
Jamie Lovemark74-71-72-70--287
Bryson DeChambeau73-71-72-71--287
Kevin Chappell72-75-69-71--287
Sean O'Hair71-75-70-71--287
Patrick Cantlay72-71-72-72--287
Chris Wood72-72-70-73--287
Jim Herman69-75-72-72--288
Thorbjorn Olesen67-78-71-72--288
Tony Finau69-74-71-74--288
Sung-hoon Kang70-71-71-76--288
Charley Hoffman75-71-73-70--289
Shane Lowry74-69-74-72--289
Charl Schwartzel74-70-72-73--289
Zach Johnson71-73-71-74--289
Billy Horschel76-70-69-74--289
Satoshi Kodaira71-76-67-75--289
Bill Haas75-69-73-73--290
Steve Stricker75-70-72-73--290
D.A. Points68-73-74-75--290
Ryan Fox75-66-71-78--290
Jason Dufner74-72-72-73--291
Kelly Kraft73-73-71-74--291
Jon Rahm70-75-71-75--291
Adam Scott71-76-74-71--292
Tommy Fleetwood70-75-73-74--292
Dylan Frittelli73-71-77-72--293
Cody Gribble72-75-74-72--293
David Lingmerth72-73-71-77--293
Vijay Singh75-70-79-70--294
Lee Westwood73-72-75-75--295
Hideto Tanihara71-75-74-75--295
Kyung-tae Kim73-72-75-75--295
Alex Noren74-69-75-77--295
Russell Henley75-71-77-73--296
Daniel Summerhays76-67-77-76--296
Charles Howell III78-69-78-72--297
Omar Uresti74-70-80-73--297
Anirban Lahiri72-73-76-78--299

 

More Notes from the 2017 PGA Championship

  • Thomas' grandfather and father were both PGA professionals. Thomas was the eighth PGA Championship winner whose father was a PGA professional.
  • It was Thomas' fourth win on the PGA Tour in 2017. His previous wins included an all-time record 72-hole total of 253 at the Sony Open, which included a round of 59.
  • Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open winner, completed his own career slam of a sort: After tying for second, he had runner-up finishes at all four majors.