10 Notes to Know: January 6, 2020

January 6, 2020
Justin Ray
  1. Justin Thomas won the Sentry Tournament of Champions, his 12th career PGA Tour title. Thomas is just the fourth player in the last 85 years to win 12 or more PGA Tour events before age 27, joining Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead.
  1. With the win, Thomas broke a tie with Jordan Spieth for most PGA Tour wins by players currently under age 30 (Rory McIlroy, who has 18 PGA Tour wins, turned 30 in 2019). Thomas has now won three of his last six official PGA Tour starts dating to the 2019 FedExCup Playoffs.
  1. JT now has 12 PGA Tour wins in the last five seasons, most of any player in that span. The next two names on that list are Dustin Johnson (11) and Rory McIlroy (7).
  1. This was Thomas’ third career PGA Tour win in Hawaii. He joins Ernie Els and Stuart Appleby as the only players in PGA Tour history to win three or more times in The Aloha State. Thomas is now a combined 104-under-par in PGA Tour events in Hawaii over the last five years, 45 shots better than any other player in that span (Leishman, -64).
  1. Patrick Reed, who lost in the playoff with JT, putted remarkably all week. His 45 one-putts in regulation were the most by any player since the Tournament of Champions moved to Maui in 1998. The previous high was just 36.
  1. Reed wound up with 9.31 strokes gained putting for the tournament, second-most of any player at Kapalua since tracking began back in 2004. Daniel Chopra gained 9.78 strokes on the greens when he won the tournament in 2008.
  1. Xander Schauffele was eliminated on the first hole of the three-man playoff. Schauffele excelled in several statistical categories for the week, leading the field in strokes gained around the green, scrambling and greens in regulation. Schauffele was trying to become the first back-to-back winner in Maui since Geoff Ogilvy in 2009-2010.
  1. The European Tour resumes its 2019-2020 schedule next week at the South African Open, where Louis Oosthuizen is the defending champion. Louis, who has three top-ten finishes in his previous four worldwide starts, will try to become the first back-to-back winner of the event since Trevor Immelman in 2003 and 2004.
  1. Meanwhile, the PGA Tour shifts to Honolulu for the Sony Open in Hawaii. Thomas has a career scoring average of 66.6 at host course Waialae CC, best of any player over the last decade (minimum ten rounds played).
  1. If he wins next week, Thomas will have three wins in his first five PGA Tour starts of the 2019-20 season, something he did in 2016-17. Johnny Miller (1974, 1975) and Tiger Woods (2003, 2008, 2013) are the only other players to win three times through five starts in a PGA Tour season since 1970.

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[…] will find himself, but I also think J.T. is that special. Here’s some even better context from Justin Ray of the 15th Club on what J.T. has […]