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Justin Thomas wins 2017 PGA Championship in Charlotte

Jeff Dennis is a
Lowcountry native.
Read his blog at
LowcountryOutdoors.com

The youngest generation of pro golfers on the PGA Tour are in their 20’s, and 2017 is serving as their coming out party. When veteran player Sergio Garcia won the Masters, there was little indication that the remaining three major tournaments would be won by these younger pros. Brooks Koepka (age 27) won the U.S. Open, Jordan Spieth (age 24) won the British Open and now Justin Thomas (age 24) wins the PGA Championship. The Quail Hollow golf course in downtown Charlotte proved to be a tough test for the best players in professional golf, as they competed for Glory’s Last Shot, at the 99th PGA Championship.
Lowcountry golf enthusiasts recall that the 2012 PGA Championship was played at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course, with Rory McIlroy winning. The 2017 PGA Championship week kicked off with the information that the PGA Tour will make a scheduling change to move this event to new dates in the Spring. Moving this major to take place in late May will place it behind the Masters and ahead of the next two majors. This is welcome news to Kiawah Island Golf Resort because they will host the PGA Championship again in 2021, and the move to Spring means cooler temps and better breezes off the ocean.
The course conditions at Quail Hollow were certainly affected by the rainy weather, with some muddy spots both in the fairways and in the spectator areas. The players faced an air mass that was hot and sticky, and very similar to typical August conditions in the Lowcountry. Even though a chance of rain remained forecast for Saturday and Sunday, the precipitation did not materialize and the golfers played on until a dramatic back nine showdowns produced five players tied for the lead.
It was Sunday afternoon during the final major of the season when 24-year old Justin Thomas showed his grit. He made a couple of dramatic birdie putts on Hole 13 and Hole 17 to take a two-stroke lead, allowing Thomas to clinch his first major golf tournament victory. He claimed the trophy for his family, since both his grandfather and father had been PGA golf pros. Despite winning three other golf tournaments in his short career, this win helps him keep pace with friend Jordan Spieth as the young guns race to collect major championship hardware.
Justin Thomas was born in Louisville, Kentucky and watched the 2000 PGA Championship there as a youth when Tiger Woods won it. He played collegiate golf at the University of Alabama and weighs just 150-pounds. He is known as one of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour when measured pound for pound. Thomas missed the cut in three tournaments leading up to the PGA Championship, and the week before he finished in a tie for 28th-place at the World Golf Championship, with a strong field of golfers similar to this major. He won at Quail Hollow using perseverance, and that trait is one that all golfers everywhere can apply during their own round of golf.
If Quail Hollow sounds familiar to golf fans, it is because they host a pro tournament each year known as the Wells Fargo Championship. In 2017 that event was held at a golf course in Wilmington, N.C. so that the course could be utilized for the PGA Championship. Quail Hollow underwent major renovations in 2016 ahead of hosting its first major event, closing the course for 89-days to install 43-acres of sod and to move and rearrange 200,000-pounds of the earth. Many of the PGA Tour pros remarked at the PGA Championship how the course was nothing like the classic course that they remembered, including changing the surface of all 18 greens from bentgrass to bermudagrass. Quail Hollow will return to hosting the Wells Fargo tourney in the future, and Quail Hollow will also host the President’s Cup in 2021.

 

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at LowcountryOutdoors.com

Jeff Dennis, Contributor (300 Posts)

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com