The American Justin Thomas has conquered this Sunday The Players, considered the fifth great of golf, with 14 under par, a stroke of advantage over the Englishman Lee Westwood and two over Brian Harman and Bryson DeChambeau. With two final rounds of 64 strokes and 68, Thomas turned out to be unattainable for some rivals who nevertheless fell apart in this fourth round. Westwood, resurrected to top-level golf at age 47, lost steam and was par for the course in the final chapter. And DeChambeau was no longer able to recover the double bogey he loaded into hole 4 in a concatenation of bad shots and mess after mess. Those two blows were the ones that separated him after 18 from the leader. Thomas ended up emotional after remembering his recently deceased grandfather, and redeemed after being embroiled in controversy when he made a homophobic comment about himself after missing a hit (it cost him the withdrawal of Ralph Lauren’s sponsorship).
Thomas, 27, achieves his 14th victory on the American circuit, enters a prize of 2.7 million dollars, the most succulent purse in a tournament, and wins integers against the first great of the season, an Augusta Masters that is just around the corner (April 8-11) and it comes amid fierce competition in the world of golf. Surely there has never been in history so many top-level aspirants to conquer every piece that is put forward. At a time when the DeChambeau puncher method is changing even the habits of great figures (Rory McIlroy admitted that he has modified his swing to gain club speed and that the invention has not worked for him), the pools for a possible winner of the green jacket that Dustin Johnson will defend are a salad of big names.
In the bets there are also two Spaniards, Jon Rahm and Sergio García, who in The Players tied for ninth position with -8, six strokes behind Thomas, after a last round in which the Basque signed +1 and the Castellón par of the field. Neither one nor the other found the best sensations to qualify for victory, although they signed a commendable place among the top 10 of the fifth big.