Justin Thomas’ Major Struggles Continue at The Open Championship

Justin Thomas 149th Open Championship Royal St Georges
Justin Thomas plays his shot from the 15th tee during Day One of The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club on July 15, 2021 in Sandwich, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington via Getty Images)

Since the 2017 golf season, nobody has won more trophies than Justin Thomas. The 28-year old has claimed victory 13 times over the past four-plus seasons.

Yet only one of those 13 titles was a major (PGA) which occurred way back in that 2017 season. Aside from the Players Championship, the other dozen titles were mostly meaningless tournaments that fill the calendar between majors – events with names that include automobiles and insurance companies, among others.

Over that time Thomas has never fallen outside the world top 10, and most of that time he’s been ranked as one of the top-3 in the world, entering nearly every tournament as a top-5 betting favorite.

In other words, he’s been one of the most consistently great players.

Yet, after shooting a 1-under 69 on Sunday, Thomas finished at 1-under for the tournament, and tied for 40th.

Since that PGA win at Quail Hollow in 2017, Thomas has teed it up in 14 majors and has not come close to winning a second major. In fact he has as many missed-cuts (3) as top 10s (3).

The 2021 major season for the world No. 2 is now T21 (Masters), MC (PGA), T19 (U.S. Open), and T40 (The OPEN). Not good enough for golf’s most prolific winner.

Since his rookie season on the PGA Tour (2014-15), Thomas has entered 21 majors and owns just four (4) top-10 finishes. That’s mind boggling.

Even more troubling, since 2018, Thomas has entered 14 majors with a world ranking inside the top-5, 11 of those inside the world top-3. In those 14 starts as a world top-5 player, JT has posted a single top-5 (4th at the 2020 Masters where he was never in contention on Sunday).

In 2021, for instance, the top-3 ranked Thomas did not post a single top 10 in a major, with a T19 his best result.

For his career in majors, Thomas outperformed his world ranking only three times: 2015 PGA (No.83/T18), 2017 PGA (No.14/1st), 2017 U.S. Open (No.13/T9).

Here’s a look at Thomas’ performance in his first seven seasons on tour. We placed his world ranking in parenthesis – where he ranked entering that particular major.

Justin Thomas in the Majors


Year: Finish (World Rank)
2016: T39 (No.33)
2017: T22 (No.8)
2018: T17 (No.2)
2019: T12 (No.5)
2020: 4th (No.3)
2021: T21 (No.2)

PGA Championship

Year: Finish (World Rank)
2015: T18 (No.83)
2016: T66 (No.33)
2017: 1st (No.14)
2018: T6 (No.2)
2019: INJ (No.5)
2020: T37 (No.1)
2021: CUT (No.2)

U.S. Open

Year: Finish (World Rank)
2016: T32 (No.36)
2017: T9 (No.13)
2018: T25 (No.1)
2019: CUT (No.7)
2020: T8 (No.3)
2021: T19 (No.2)

British Open

Year: Finish (World Rank)
2016: T53 (No.39)
2017: CUT (No.12)
2018: CUT (No.2)
2019: T11 (No.9)
2020: No Tournament
2021: T40 (No.3)

This post originally appeared on May 21, 2021 during the PGA Championship.


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