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 Thomas 73-66-69-68--276
Francesco Molinari 73-64-74-67--278
Patrick Reed 69-73-69-67--278
Louis Oosthuizen 70-67-71-70--278
Rickie Fowler 69-70-73-67--279
Hideki Matsuyama 70-64-73-72--279
Graham DeLaet 70-73-68-69--280
Kevin Kisner 67-67-72-74--280
Matt Kuchar 71-74-70-68--283
Jordan L Smith 70-75-70-68--283
Jason Day 70-66-77-70--283
Chris Stroud 68-68-71-76--283
Dustin Johnson 70-74-73-67--284
Marc Leishman 75-71-71-67--284
Brooks Koepka 68-73-74-69--284
Ryan Moore 71-71-73-69--284
Brian Harman 69-75-71-69--284
James Hahn 73-70-71-70--284
Henrik Stenson 74-70-70-70--284
Paul Casey 69-70-74-71--284
Scott Brown 73-68-70-73--284
Rory McIlroy 72-72-73-68--285
Ian Poulter 74-71-71-69--285
Robert Streb 74-70-70-71--285
Chez Reavie 72-70-70-73--285
Gary Woodland 68-74-69-74--285
Grayson Murray 68-73-69-75--285
Jordan Spieth 72-73-71-70--286
Richard Sterne 73-72-70-71--286
Pat Perez 70-76-69-71--286
Byeong Hun An 71-69-74-72--286
J.B. Holmes 74-73-67-72--286
Webb Simpson 76-70-72-69--287
Bud Cauley 69-74-74-70--287
Keegan Bradley 74-70-73-70--287
Lucas Glover 75-70-72-70--287
Jason Kokrak 75-70-72-70--287
Jamie Lovemark 74-71-72-70--287
Bryson DeChambeau 73-71-72-71--287
Kevin Chappell 72-75-69-71--287
Sean O'Hair 71-75-70-71--287
Patrick Cantlay 72-71-72-72--287
Chris Wood 72-72-70-73--287
Jim Herman 69-75-72-72--288
Thorbjorn Olesen 67-78-71-72--288
Tony Finau 69-74-71-74--288
Sung-hoon Kang 70-71-71-76--288
Charley Hoffman 75-71-73-70--289
Shane Lowry 74-69-74-72--289
Charl Schwartzel 74-70-72-73--289
Zach Johnson 71-73-71-74--289
Billy Horschel 76-70-69-74--289
Satoshi Kodaira 71-76-67-75--289
Bill Haas 75-69-73-73--290
Steve Stricker 75-70-72-73--290
D.A. Points 68-73-74-75--290
Ryan Fox 75-66-71-78--290
Jason Dufner 74-72-72-73--291
Kelly Kraft 73-73-71-74--291
Jon Rahm 70-75-71-75--291
Adam Scott 71-76-74-71--292
Tommy Fleetwood 70-75-73-74--292
Dylan Frittelli 73-71-77-72--293
Cody Gribble 72-75-74-72--293
David Lingmerth 72-73-71-77--293
Vijay Singh 75-70-79-70--294
Lee Westwood 73-72-75-75--295
Hideto Tanihara 71-75-74-75--295
Kyung-tae Kim 73-72-75-75--295
Alex Noren 74-69-75-77--295
Russell Henley 75-71-77-73--296
Daniel Summerhays 76-67-77-76--296
Charles Howell III 78-69-78-72--297
Omar Uresti 74-70-80-73--297
Anirban Lahiri 72-73-76-78--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.