Many call 2015 the year of Jordan Spieth. Dustin Johnson dominated much of 2016. Who is going to claim 2017? After just ten days into the year, there are already a few who are on their way to making 2017 their year. One of those is Justin Thomas.
Thomas, who played collegiate golf at University of Alabama, is used to success. His collegiate career at Alabama is arguably as successful as the Alabama football team. He won his first event he competed in, making him the first player in school history to win their first collegiate event. He also won three other events his freshman year, earning him the Haskins Award for the top collegiate golfer in the nation, the Golf Coaches Association of America Jack Nicklaus Award for national player of the year, and the Phil Mickelson award for national freshman of the year. He was also the first freshman to be named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and also won SEC Freshman of the Year. Thomas won two events and lead the Crimson Tide to a national championship his sophomore year before leaving early to turn professional in 2013.
Thomas was successful on the Web.com Tour in 2014 before earning his PGA Tour card in 2015. He won his first PGA Tour tournament in the 2015-2016 season. The win came at one of the first events of the season at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Thomas also had six other top 10 finishes. He had third places finishes at four events including the Frys.com Open, the Honda Classic, the Players Championship, and the Travelers Championship. He also finished tied for 10th at the Barclays and tied for sixth at the Tour Championship.
The 2016-17 season started just as the last one did. Thomas finished tied for eighth place at the Safeway Open and then followed it up by defending his title at the CIMB Classic. Thomas held on and beat one of the hottest players on tour currently, Hideki Matsuyama, by three strokes to claim his first win of the season.
Thomas has played in four events so far this season and has finished no worse than tied for 23rd. After the CIMB Classic, he finished tied for 23rd at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions where Matsuyama won.
Thomas’ second win came just this past weekend in Hawaii, where he also finished just three strokes ahead of Matsuyama. He won the SBS Tournament of Champions, a field that is arguably as hard as some majors.
He proved he can win with the field, but the question is will he win a major in 2017?
With a game that is very similar to Spieth, who also happens to be a good friend of Thomas, there is potential for him to make 2017 similar to Spieth’s 2015. According to GolfOdds.com, Thomas currently has 40/1 odds to win the first major of the year, The Masters, on April 6-9, 2017, a tournament Spieth won in 2015.
The rest of the majors of 2017 are the U.S. Open on June 12-18, The Open Championship on July 16-23, and the PGA Championship on August 7-13. Currently over six months away, it is hard to say what his odds are to win those, but if his success continues he definitely will be in the hunt.
The next few months are crucial for Thomas to continue his success and set the tone for his year. With the start he has had this season and his history of success, Thomas has lots of potential to make 2017 his year. A major win would definitely help, but he has impressed many already. Now it is time to just watch and see!