A look at man-of-the-moment Justin Thomas’ hopes of glory in the 2021 Majors

The newly-crowned PLAYERS champion already has one Major victory under his belt but do this year’s venues give him a strong chance of adding another in 2021?

Justin Thomas joined an exclusive club when he produced a stunning weekend charge to capture the prestigious PLAYERS Championship in Florida.

By winning at TPC Sawgrass, the American became just the fourth player to land THE PLAYERS, a Major, a World Golf Championship event and a FedExCup title. The other three: Tiger WoodsRory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson. Not bad company to keep.

Thomas will now be looking to become a member of another exclusive club next month: the one where a Green Jacket for winning The Masters gets you a place in the field at Augusta National for life.

JT's impressive haul of 14 PGA TOUR victories already includes a Major although he'll be itching to get another as that came four years ago.

A repeat of his play at TPC Sawgrass and the World No.2's chances look strong.

Here, Planet Sport Golf examines his hopes at this year's venues - Augusta National, Kiawah Island, Torrey Pines and Royal St. George's.

The Masters - Augusta National

Thomas' best odds: 12/1 at bet365

Record at The Masters

2016: T39

2017: T22

2018: T17

2019: T12

2020: 4

Thomas has shown year-on-year improvement at Augusta National and is now on a streak of four straight top 25s.

If he continues that progression after fourth place in the 2020 edition, then he must go close to landing that first Green Jacket.

JT's four-round scores further highlight his growing confidence at Augusta: he shot +10 on debut, +2 in 2017, broke par for the first time when -4 in 2018, improved to -8 in 2019 and shot 12-under last year. That included his lowest lap so far, a 6-under 66 on day one.

He's been in the top six for Greens In Regulation in each of the last four Masters but the difference maker last year was his performance on the greens.

Thomas ranked 6th for Putting Average and 10th for Putts per Round having never previously made the top 35 in either category.

"This is probably my favourite event of the year, one of my favourite courses. I enjoy everything about it," he said last year.

PGA Championship - Kiawah Island

Thomas' best odds: 14/1 at bet365

Record at the PGA Championship

2015: T18 (Whistling Straits, Wisconsin)

2016: T66 (Baltusrol, New Jersey)

2017: WON (Quail Hollow, North Carolina)

2018: T6 (Bellerive, Missouri)

2019: DNP (Bethpage State Park, New York)

2020: T37 (Harding Park, California)

Thomas has made all five of his cuts in the PGA Championship, setting the tone with a solid top 20 on debut at Whistling Straits in 2015. He missed the 2019 event at Bethpage with a wrist injury.

And, of course, this is the tournament that gave him his first, and so far only, Major title.

That came at Quail Hollow in 2017 when he shot 8-under to finish two clear of Francesco MolinariLouis Oosthuizen and Patrick Reed - all Major winners themselves.

Thomas also made a strong defence of the giant Wanamaker Trophy when tied sixth at Bellerive.

This year's venue - the lengthy 7,848-yard Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina - should be a good one for him.

It's a Pete Dye course and Thomas has just won at the legendary designer's most famous creation - TPC Sawgrass.

Thomas also has some decent form on another Dye track in South Carolina having finished T8 (2020) and T11 in two of his three starts at Harbour Town.

US Open - Torrey Pines

Thomas' best odds: 16/1 at bet365

Record at the US Open

2014: MC (Pinehurst, North Carolina)

2015: DNP (Chambers Bay, Washington)

2016: T32 (Oakmont, Pennsylvania)

2017: T9 (Erin Hills, Wisconsin)

2018: T25 (Shinnecock, New York)

2019: MC (Pebble Beach, California)

2020: T8 (Winged Foot)

Thomas hasn't cracked the top five in the US Open just yet but with two top 10s and a further top 25 in the last four he's dropping hints that this one could fall his way too.

He was the first-round leader at Winged Foot last year before a Saturday 76 ruined his chances. But his strongest challenge came in 2017 when he equallied the lowest round ever shot in a US Open with a scintillating 63 on day three at Erin Hills.

A disappointing closing round of 75 dropped him from second to ninth but he'd make amends later that year by winning the PGA Championship.

Thomas certainly has the game and temperament to land this title sooner rather than later but does this year's venue suit?

Record at Torrey Pines in the Farmers Insurance Open

2014: T10

2015: Missed cut

A little surprisingly given that he's known the US Open would be taking place there, Thomas hasn't played Torrey Pines competitively since 2015.

He missed the cut that year but on his one other start in the Farmers Insurance Open he notched a tied 10th in 2014.

Encouragingly, he boasts a strong record on the West Coast, finishing runner-up at Riviera in 2019 and second in the 2020 ZOZO Championship at Sherwood Country Club.

With Torrey Pines predicted to be set up to favour long hitters, Thomas will be on plenty of punters' shortlists.

Open Championship - Royal St. George's

Thomas' best odds: 20/1 at Paddy Power

Record at the Open Championship

2016: T53 (Royal Troon, Scotland)

2017: Missed cut (Royal Birkdale, England)

2018: Missed cut (Carnoustie, Scotland)

2019: T11 (Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland)

2020: No tournament

Links golf rather bamboozled Thomas to begin with.

Reflecting ahead of the 2019 Open, he said: "Just in the past I think it's just been poor execution in some spots, but also the weather and the draws that I've been in haven't exactly been ideal. But I understand over a long career that stuff is going to happen and hopefully it will even out or get in my favour sometime. But that's just a part of The Open Championship."

Justin Thomas in action at Royal Portrush in 2019
Justin Thomas in action at Royal Portrush in 2019

Thomas really liked what he saw at Royal Portrush, saying pre-tournament that he loved the course and it was his favourite Open venue so far.

It showed in his play as he improved his position each day to finish in a tie for 11th.

Conclusion

Thomas had a fourth and a T8 in last year's Majors and there's definitely a sense that he'll win another soon.

His golden chance would appear to be The Masters given that it's so close and he's in fantastic form having won at TPC Sawgrass.

But the PGA Championship (Kiawah Island) and US Open (Torrey Pines) venues look to suit him too so he could challenge for several this year.

With its sometimes quirky bounces, Royal St. George's will test him but two fellow big-hitting Americans - Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson - were joint-second at the Kent course the last time it hosted in 2011 so don't write him off there either.

Justin Thomas is 7/2 at William Hill to win one or more Major in 2021.

It's 20/1 that he wins two or more.

READ MORE: How and why Justin Thomas tore through the field to win THE PLAYERS Championship

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