Justin Thomas Profile
|Born||Apr 29, 1993|
|Birthplace||Louisville, Kentucky, USA|
With a fast, athletic swing and a wedge game that features superb distance control, the rise of Justin Thomas to the elite of world golf has been swift and electric.
Justin Thomas shot to prominence in 2017 with a breakout year that included his August claim of a first Major triumph in the 99th PGA Championship at the Quail Hollow Club.
Thomas is one of just four golfers in the history of the game to have claimed a major and five tour titles before his 25th birthday.
After winning his first Major, Thomas went on to claim the FedExCup along with its handsome bonus following a second-place finish at the season-ending Tour Championship.
Thomas impressed on the course from an early age establishing himself as something of a golfing prodigy when he became the third-youngest player to make the cut on the PGA Tour at the 2009 Wyndham Championship. He was just 16-years-old at the time and wouldn't turn professional for another four years.
The third-generation golfer claimed the World No. 1 ranking for the first time in 2018, holding the position for four weeks. In August 2020 he would again reach that summit after winning the World Golf Championship-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind.
In Major Championships, Thomas has recorded two successes in the PGA Championship. He has perhaps been a little disappointed by his inability to contend on a regular basis, but with the second win in 2022 he will hope to herald a change in that regard.
He has also won the so-called "fifth Major", THE PLAYERS Championship, with a superb weekend performance in March 2021.
Thomas has represented the United States in both the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup.
Thomas' father and grandfather were more than handy golfers and his aptitude for the game became apparent early.
After graduating from St Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky in 2011 he attended the University of Alabama whose sports teams are famously known as the Crimson Tide.
In his 2012 freshman year at the university, Thomas was awarded the Haskins Award as the most outstanding collegiate player. He would also receive the Jack Nicklaus Award in the same year becoming the first Alabama golfer to win both awards in the same year.
The following year he was named in the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship team as the Crimson Tide claimed the national team championship. Thomas was a member of the Alabama team that played in back-to-back championship finals in 2012 and 2013.
Thomas set an Alabama record with six individual collegiate event victories before turning pro at the age of 20.
Thomas delayed turning professional in order to play in the Walker Cup in 2013 but would earn his place on the Web.com Tour through Qualifying School later that year.
A maiden professional victory at the 2014 Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship helped Thomas finish fifth in the order of merit on the Web.com Tour and earn a place on the PGA Tour for 2015.
In his rookie year on the main tour, Thomas continued to impress, earning fourth-place finishes at the Quicken Loans National and Sanderson Farms Championship. A further five top 10 placings saw Thomas finish 32nd in the PGA Tour's FedExCup that term.
Thomas made the cut at a Major for the first time in 2015 and ended in a tie for 18th at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
He recorded his first PGA Tour win in November of 2015 when he overcame a final round bogey to pip Adam Scott to the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur by just one shot and he successfully defended that title 12 months later.
The breakthrough year
The defense of his first PGA Tour title primed Thomas for what would be an incredible breakout year jam-packed with achievements and big-money rewards.
He started 2017 with a bang winning the SBS Tournament of Champions in January and a week later became just the seventh player in PGA Tour history to card a round of 59, achieving the feat at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He went on to win the tournament and set event record low totals after 18-, 36-, 54-, and 72-holes.
In the 2017 US Open at Erin Hills, Thomas looked set for a first Major title after equaling the tournament's single-round record with a nine-under-par 63 in the third round. He would fade on the final day, though, carding a 75 to finish tied ninth.
Thomas did not have to wait long for his first Major, however, winning that year's PGA Championship. He bounced back from a disappointing opening round of 73 to steadily close on the leaders.
He would drain a 36-foot putt on the ninth for a birdie that moved him into a tie for the lead before dramatically claiming it for himself with another birdie putt at the following hole. His putt stalled on the lip of the 10th hole before dropping.
Over the Labor Day weekend, Thomas claimed his fifth PGA Tour win at the Dell Technologies Championship in Boston and he would win the 2017 FedExCup after finishing runner-up at the Tour Championship.
His incredible 2017 achievements saw him named as both the PGA Tour and PGA Player of the Year.
Since the 2016/17 season
In the aftermath of that incredible year, Thomas has settled in as one of the PGA Tour's most consistent players under the age of 30.
Thomas started the 2017/18 season strongly claiming the CJ Cup in October and four months later he added the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida to move to a career-high third on the world rankings.
Just a week later he would rise to second after losing a sudden-death playoff to Phil Mickelson at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
A loss to Bubba Watson in the 2018 WGC-Match Play semi-finals denied him the top spot in the rankings, but he would eventually haul in then-No. 1 Dustin Johnson after the 2018 Players Championship.
Thomas held the top spot for four weeks before surrendering it back to Johnson. He was the 21st man to hold the No. 1 spot since the inception of the rankings.
He was selected for the 2018 US Ryder Cup team and played well in a losing effort going 4-1-0 through the event including a singles win over Rory McIlroy.
Thomas topped the money-winning stakes again in 2018, and in 2019 he would add another brace of tournament wins to his record claiming the BMW Championship and winning the CJ Cup for the second time in three years.
He started 2020 with a second victory in the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Kapalua Resort and in August he won the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational to return to the top of the world rankings, albeit briefly.
Late in 2020 he spurned the chance to add to his Major Championship tally, leading the US Open after 18 holes and the Masters at halfway, but he rediscovered the winning touch in early 2021.
At THE PLAYERS Championship he carded 64-68 at the weekend to hunt down the leaders Bryson DeChambeau and Lee Westwood - and then revealed he has received supportive text messages ahead of the final round from Tiger Woods.
More Major triumph
Despite that PGA Championship win of 2017 Thomas headed into the 2022 edition of that event with a poor Major record that read 25 starts and only six top 10s (only two of those were to fives).
But he made an early recce to the 2022 venue Southern Hills, immediately liked what he saw and proved it by carding a pair of 67s to lie third heading into the weekend.
Whereupon his problems of the previous 18 months reappeared: he shot a third round 74 to slip seven shots back of the lead.
Midway through the final round he was actually in an even worse position, but his own superb back nine and struggles for the leader Mito Pereira left Thomas and Will Zalatoris in a three-hole playoff which Thomas won.
Justin Thomas' personal life
A third-generation golfing professional, he was born in Louisville, Kentucky to Mike and Jani Thomas. His father was the head professional at the Harmony Landing Country Club in Goshen.
Thomas' paternal grandfather was also handy on the course playing in the US Open and serving as head professional at Zanesville Country Club.
He reportedly started showing an interest in the game as a toddler, first picking up a club before his second birthday.
Despite being a jet-setting modern golf pro, Thomas is keeping it Kentucky when it comes to choosing a life partner. He is not yet married but has been involved with his girlfriend, Jillian Wisniewski, since 2016.
Like Thomas, Wisniewski is a Kentucky-native and works for an advertising agency as a Production Business Manager. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Journalism.
Wisniewski works full-time and as such cannot always be with Thomas during tournaments. She very nearly missed his first Major success, but managed to switch a flight to get to Charlotte to celebrate with Thomas on 13 August 2017.
Justin Thomas' net worth
At a relatively young age, Thomas has already racked up an impressive fortune thanks to winners' purses as well as sponsorships and other endorsements.
Ahead of the 2020 Masters, Thomas had banked $38,745,227 in prize money alone and is 24th on the PGA Tour career money leaders list.
The $10million he earned as the 2017 FedExCup winner makes up a substantial portion of that, but Thomas just keeps adding to his already impressive tally.
Thomas has lucrative sponsorship deals with FootJoy, Beats Electronics, Titleist, NetJets and Citigroup, but lost his Ralph Lauren contract amid controversy when uttering a profanity at the 2021 Tournament of Champions.
The 27-year-old has an estimated net worth of more than $30million. In 2018 he was 66th on Forbes' list of the 100 highest-paid athletes in the world, while in 2019 he made it into the magazine's 30 under 30 feature.
With golf's prize money continuing to sky-rocket Thomas stands a very good chance of becoming the all-time leading earner if he plays well into his 40s.
Justin Thomas News
- May 26, 2022