With a final-round 68, Justin Thomas claimed a three-shot victory over Patrick Cantlay at the BMW Championship.
Thomas finished his four rounds at Medinah Country Club on 25-under par to secure his 10th career title, and first since last summer’s WGC-Bridgestone victory. In the process, the Kentucky native became the fifth PGA Tour player to claim double-digit victories by the age of 26, joining Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth.
The victory earned Thomas $1,665,000 and 2,000 FedExCup points, along with 72 Official World Golf Rankings points. This will move JT to No. 5 in the Official World Golf Rankings, and more importantly (at least for this week), lock him in at the No. 1 position (-10) for the FedExCup finale at East Lake.
Afterwards, an excited (and relieved) Thomas met with the media to discuss his first victory of the 2019 season. Here are a few pulls from the back and forth.
This week’s 3 Questions for the Winner is powered by The Titleist Store at Amazon.
Keys To Calmness
What were the keys for you to remain patient, are there things you do?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I just kept telling myself I was beating everything by 6 through three rounds with a very mediocre Friday. I’m playing at this moment. I felt I was playing better than everybody else and I felt that I was good enough I was going to be just fine. You’re going to have bogies.
Patrick (Cantlay) made a lot of birdies that first however many holes and it’s hard to maintain that. I told myself I’ve had this happen before with Hideki (Matsuyama) and at Maui, I think I had five shot lead with five to go and all of a sudden I was tied with three holes left. So, I had literally gone through that exact thing pretty much.
It’s just like when you think of it like how it went today it’s hard but if you would have told me or anybody in this field at the beginning of the week hey, you have a two shot lead standing on the 11th tee on Sunday I would be, “Hell yeah, tell me where to sign right now.”
I don’t need to tell you I had a 6 shot lead to start the day. If I have a 2 shot lead with 8 holes left I feel confident I can pull it off.
PGA Tour Talent Level
I just wonder if you could kind of describe what the level of parity is like right now at the top of the game and just how hard it is to win the bigger events with these guys.
JUSTIN THOMAS: It’s extremely difficult. I think the biggest, the best example is the word ranking. Obviously ’17 was a great year for me but I won three times last year, one of them being the WGC.
I’ve had a pretty good year this year and I mean I dropped down to 10th going into this week. It’s just like I just remember being kind of right before I was hurt I was playing well, I just — I wasn’t putting very well and I couldn’t quite break through to have those Top-5s and those wins that you really need for the world ranking and I was getting passed.
I’m Top-10s and 15s in big events and I’m getting passed.
That’s just when I was like man, you got to win to pass people. That’s just how it is. I try to stay patient. I knew it was coming. I didn’t know when.
Obviously I was hoping it would be sooner rather than later. Yeah, the level of golf that is being played by a lot of people right now is pretty tremendous and definitely keeps me working hard.
New Tour Championship Format
What do you feel, what did you feel about the new format when you first heard about it and does it change and does it alter anything at all now that you’re atop it?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I’ve led with the same phrase and statement every single time I’ve been asked about it. If I’m holding the trophy at the end of the week I love it. It’s going to be different. I think it has the potential to be extremely intense leaderboard come Sunday but obviously with the separation you have the potential of who knows, you know.
It could be a two man show or one man show or three man show, whatever. I know I’m in a lot better position starting at 10-under than I was at three or something like that, probably was at the start of the week or four.
No, I’m going to try not to look at the leaderboards for the first couple days and just try to shoot as low as I can 18 holes.
Credit: PGA Tour Media, Fastscripts, Getty Images