Akron, Ohio – When Justin Thomas closed the deal at the Honda Classic at PGA National five months ago, it appeared that he was a wrecking ball with the momentum that couldn’t be stopped. He had won his first major (the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow) and the Fedex Cup at the end of the 2017 season and was clearly the hottest player in the game. In the time since, he became World no.1 and led the FedEx Cup standings, but just as the summer started, everything just seemed to stall. Simultaneously, Dustin Johnson re-found his groove and took over the rankings and Fedex Cup standings.
At the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone, Thomas once again found his early season form against the world’s best. Playing in the final round with Rory McIlroy, Thomas was steady – shooting a final round 1 under par 69 while most of his challengers struggled. Thomas finished at 15 under par – 265 total, four strokes better than runner-up Kyle Stanley on the final spin around one of the PGA Tour’s classic venues.
Afterward, Thomas was emotional when he saw who made the trip up from Kentucky to see the final round. “I got a little choked up when I saw grandma and grandpa over there,” Thomas said. “It’s really cool, they don’t get out very often.”
In his previous two starts at Firestone, Thomas hadn’t finished higher than a tie for 28th. “I’m glad I finally played well around here, just in time to leave.” Firestone will host the Senior Players Championship next season, while the WGC Championship moves to Memphis (TPC Southwinds).
McIlroy shot 73 Sunday, as did eight-time Champion at Firestone – Tiger Woods, who struggled on Sunday to finish at even par.