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With second major, Justin Thomas boasts Hall of Fame resume before age 30

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Published in Golf
Sunday, 22 May 2022 14:32

As Justin Thomas takes home a second Wanamaker Trophy, he continues to boast an illustrious career resume at just 29 years old.

Let's take a trip down Thomas' path to becoming a two-time major champion and one of the game's most recognizable stars.  

Long before "JT" was a household nickname, he led his high school, Saint Xavier, to Kentucky state championships in 2008 and '09, while also collecting Kentucky Junior Player of the Year honors in '08 and '10.

But when most of the golf world first laid eyes on Thomas was the 2009 Wyndham Championship. Thomas, the son of a PGA professional, received an invitation to his first PGA Tour event at age 16 and rode an opening 65 to make the cut — becoming the third-youngest player to ever make a Tour cut. 

Two years later, he graduated high school and became a star for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He won the Haskins Award — the nation's most outstanding collegiate golfer — as a freshman in 2012 and then led Alabama to a national championship title in '13.

After that, however, he would take his talents to the professional level. 

In 2013, he earned his (Korn Ferry) Tour card through Q-School and then claimed his first professional victory at the 2014 Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship. 

But Thomas' stay on the developmental tour wouldn't last long, as he earned his Tour card for 2015 at the regular season finals. 

After enduring the bad side of the draw for two days and a frustrating Saturday 74, Justin Thomas improbably won the 104th PGA.

Thomas had an impressive rookie campaign, with seven top-10 finishes en route to notching a FedExCup playoff berth. He, however, narrowly missed a trip to East Lake, finishing 32nd in the playoff standings. Thomas also fell just short of Daniel Berger for Rookie of the Year. 

But shortly after, in the new season, he got his maiden Tour win on Nov. 1, 2015, at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, edging Adam Scott by a stroke. 

And then, he crossed the border into stardom — all before the first quarter-century of his life. 

The next season, he rode five victories, including his first major, the 2017 PGA at Quail Hollow, to winning the FedExCup, claiming Player of the Year and being No. 1 on the Tour's money list. He also joined Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth as the only players since 1960 to win five times in a season, with a major, before age 25.

Not to mention, at the Sony Open, he shot the Tour's seventh-ever 59 and was the youngest ever to do so.

Since then, he's raked in another nine victories, has finished top-10 in the FedExCup standings for five straight years, was world No. 1 in 2018, and notched spots on the U.S. Presidents Cup team (2017, '19) and Ryder Cup team ('18, '20), while collecting $49.9 million in career earnings. 

But he had been searching for another major for the past half-decade, unless you count his 2021 Players Championship win. 

In September '21, Thomas hired Jim "Bones" Mackay, Phil Mickelson's old caddie, to carry his bag, and to start the '22 season, the new duo had seven top-10s in 12 starts. 

However, having not won since the '21 Players, Thomas got the monkey off his back Sunday at Southern Hills and continues to solidify his Hall of Fame resume before he's even 30 years old. 

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