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Shocking News: Justin Thomas named the 2017 PGA Tour Player of the Year

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It was a foregone conclusion, but it was officially announced today that Justin Thomas beat out finalists Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama to receive the Jack Nicklaus Award for 2017 PGA Tour Player of the Year.

Thomas, who was winless in his first 70 starts on the PGA Tour, recorded five wins in 2017 including the PGA Championship. His year included a round of 59 at the Sony Open in Hawaii, a record-setting 9-under par round at the U.S. Open, and a $10-million bonus for winning the FedExCup Playoffs.

JT left no questions unanswered about his game, or his ability to perform under pressure in 2017. But how does he continue to improve and stay motivated going forward?

“I’ll just continue to do what I have,” Thomas told Golf World. “I don’t know who I heard it from back in college or whenever it was, but you just have to break it up. You have to have two to four goals that are very achievable, two to four goals that are in grasp but will be tough, and two to four goals that are maybe a little bit out of the realm and are going to be very difficult to do, but are somewhat achievable if you have a great year like I did this year.”

I think that means he has his sights set even higher for 2018. Topping his 2017 efforts would be quite the feat.

See the clubs Justin Thomas had in his bag in 2017

With two wins in 2017, including the season-ending Tour Championship, Xander Schauffele was named Rookie of the Year.

See the clubs Xander Schauffele had in his bag in 2017

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. mb

    Oct 7, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Why is this shocking? he played better than everyone on the PGA tour?.

  2. cgasucks

    Oct 5, 2017 at 9:29 am

    It is amazing how much one can achieve when jealousy and drive are in play. Justin admitted that he was jealous after seeing his buddy Speith win the British Open and wanted to get his share of that glory. Now you know the rest of the story..

  3. Travis

    Oct 4, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    It’s a joke Philip….

    • Philip

      Oct 4, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      I guess I have been tainted by too much “Enquirer” – funny how once the idea of it being a joke was put forth the title read differently. Goes to show the power of perception and how difficult it is to have everyone get the same meaning out of the same words.

  4. Philip

    Oct 4, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Exactly how is this shocking?

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Equipment

Lee Westwood’s winning WITB: 2018 Nedbank Golf Challenge

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (10 degrees) (D6)
Shaft: Veylix Rome 60 X Tip 1”, 45.25″

3-wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees) (D3)
Shaft: Aldila Phenom 70X, 43″

Hybrid: Ping G (19 degrees) (D2+)
Shaft: Aldila ATX Tour Green 85X, 40.5”

Irons: Ping i210 4-PW, UW (50 degrees) UW (54 degrees) (Std length, Blue color code, D0+)
Shafts: Ping JZ Stiff

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (60 degrees)
Shaft: JZ Stiff

Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Fetch 35”
Grip: PING Pistol Sigma 2 PP60

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Full Cord (+1 wrap) on woods, PING Id8 Half Cord on irons

Ball: Titleist ProV1x

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Equipment

Did Justin Rose confirm his switch to Honma?

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Our Oct. 26 Forum Thread of the Day centered around Justin Rose’s potential defection from TaylorMade and move to Japanese luxury club brand Honma. Golf Digest’s Mike Stachura, the Morning Read, the Irish Times, and the Sun Times, have all added fuel to that fire.

And on the subject of fire, asked about the potential change following his Turkish Airlines Open win, Rose said

“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

Speculation had been rampant in the GolfWRX forums for weeks, with several members with connections to the company indicating they’d heard Rose would soon be a Honma man. For example, mallrat said: “A teaching pro at our club is on staff with Honma and told me the same thing on Weds.”

Beyond the Englishman’s seeming admission that the rumor is true, his agent, Mark Steinberg is mum. Likewise, neither TaylorMade nor Honma has commented.

Suspicion as to why Rose, a long-time TaylorMade staffer and the No. 1 golfer in the world, would defect to a Japanese luxury brand with little presence on the PGA Tour centers around Mark King. The former TaylorMade president and CEO joined Honma as a consultant in August.

Per Golf Digest’s Mike Stachura,

“King, who was CEO at TaylorMade from 1999-2013, stood by Rose in his early professional days when he missed the first 21 cuts of his career and posted a stroke average of 75.18 in his 1999 European Tour season.”

Stachura also indicated King has brought several former TaylorMade staffers to the company. With TaylorMade from 1994 to 2014, King said in August that the company would be looking to establish a presence on the PGA Tour and debut new products in 2019 (per Golf Inc.).

Under the guidance of Chinese businessman Liu Jianguo, Honma, now publicly traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange, has seen sales growth over the past four years amid a reworked business model. The brand now looks to expand into the United States and establish a foothold in the luxury equipment space, which is presently dominated by the likes of XXIO and PXG.

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Tour News

Tour Rundown: The Champ is here

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If you’re a fan of international travel, fall professional golf is the time of year for you. With the men in Shanghai and Mississippi, the ladies in Taiwan, and the seniors in California, no two times zones were alike (almost). The world’s elite men enjoyed the fruits of their labors in Asia, while the up-and-comers attempted to make a name in the American southeast. The women and senior men find themselves in playoff chases, hoping to cap their years with the ultimate in triumphs. Join us for a rundown of all the week’s events.

Schauffele earns finest win in WGC Shanghai

Xander Schauffele was the quietest person frustrated by this year’s Ryder Cup USA performance. Widely recognized as the runner-up to Tony Finau for the last captain’s selection, Schauffele put his nose back to the grindstone and played well in September and October. He capped off the run by defeating the same Tony Finau in a playoff at the HSBC Champions World Golf Championship. Oh Irony! Schauffele  began the final round 3 strokes behind Finau, who was gunning for a signature win of his own. The Utah native didn’t play poorly, finishing four clear of Justin Rose, the 3rd-place combatant. Trouble for Finau was, Schauffele played some marvelous golf in round four. He combined six birdies with two bogeys for 68, reached the par-five 18th in two in the playoff, and calmly two-putted for birdie to claim the trophy as his own. Finau’s work was laudable, and his time on the big-stage podium will come soon enough. Imagine, if you will, the two of them paired in international competition. Team USA could do much worse than that.

Korda klaims first LPGA tour title in Taiwan

Back in 2013, when Nelly Korda was some 14 years of age, she qualified for the US Open at Sebonack and competed alongside her sister. Zip ahead to 2018, and Jessica’s younger sister made a breakthrough of her own. With no one running away with the Swinging Skirts Taiwan Championship, Korda played solid golf in round four and ascended to the top of the podium for the first time. Two birdies and an eagle might seem like a light load, but no bogies gave her 68, on a day when the low round totaled 66. That number came from Minjee Lee, who made a furious attempt to katch Korda. The Australian champion birdied her final two holes to close within two, but Korda was uncatchable, winning by two strikes at 13-under par.

Sanderson Farms comes down to a battle of Cs

Cameron, Corey and Carlos walked into a… golf tournament. Wouldn’t make a good joke opener, would it? That’s fine; it’s the story line behind this year’s Sanderson Farms championship in Jackson, MS. Corey (Connors) had made a run at events last season on the PGA Tour, and looked to establish himself as a strong finisher. Carlos (Ortiz) hoped to finally add a big-tour win to the trio of events he won on the Web.Com tour in 2014. As for Cameron (Champ), he’s only the next great thing according to some, the young beast in the eyes of others. Long off the tee and soft around the greens, Champ edged past the other two Cs and won his first PGA Tour event by four strokes. Owner of a four-stroke lead after 54 holes, Champ made a pair of bogeys at 7 and 8 to offer hope to his pursuers. Not much later (holes 13 through 18) Champ dashed their hopes with five birdies over the closing 6 holes. The victory moved Champ into the top 6 on the 2018-19 FedEx Cup race, and gave unsustainable bylines to golf journalists everywhere.

Parel nonpareil in Sherwood

Scott Parel began the year with a little-heralded win in an unofficial event. His triumph at the Diamond Resorts Invitational in January set an unforgettable year in motion. It would take until August for the former Web.Com winner to claim his first senior title, but the 2nd came less than two months later. Parel and others watched as Miguel Angel Jimenez tumbled from the top spot on Sunday with a 73, offering the field a chance to steal a victory. Parel notched two birdies on each side of the scorecard, strayed not once into bogeyland, and came out on top by one stroke over Paul Goydos. The runner-up did nothing to hurt his chances, parlaying 5 birdies and 0 bogies into a delightful 67. Kenny Perry looked to have the best chance to overtake Parel, starting 6-under through 13 holes. The Kentuckian was unable to dig any lower, and finished solo third at 8-under, two behind Goydos.

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