10 Notes to Know: August 3, 2020

August 3, 2020
Justin Ray
  1. Justin Thomas shot a final round 65 to win the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational by three strokes. Thomas won for the 13th time on the PGA Tour, becoming the third-youngest player since 1960 to reach that benchmark. The only two players to get there at a younger age in the last sixty years are Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.
  1. Thomas led the field in strokes gained tee to green, proving once again that TPC Southwind is a true test of ball striking. Seven of the last nine winners at this course have led the tournament that week in that statistic.
  1. All 13 of JT’s wins have come in the last five seasons. Thomas has the most PGA Tour victories of any player in that span, one ahead of Dustin Johnson. No other player has double-digit victories during that stretch. Thomas moved to number one in the World Ranking for the second time in his career with the victory Sunday.
  1. It was a tough Sunday for 54-hole leader Brendon Todd, who shot a final round 75 and finished tied for 15th. This was the second time since the season restart that Todd held the lead entering the final round – he also had it at the Travelers Championship. Todd failed to record a birdie in either of those two final rounds.
  1. Brooks Koepka put together a valiant defense of his title in Memphis but finished tied for second place. The only player in World Golf Championship history to successfully defend a title is Woods – amazingly, he’s done it eight different times.
  1. Henrik Stenson had one of the most uneventful weeks in recent memory on the PGA Tour. How so, you ask? Stenson made 62 pars for the week at TPC Southwind, the most by any player in a 72-hole PGA Tour event in 21 years. Jeff Sluman also made 62 pars at the 1999 John Deere Classic.
  1. Danielle Kang beat Celine Boutier by one stroke to win the LPGA’s first event back, the Drive On Championship. Kang has now won in each of the last four LPGA seasons, a run that started with her victory at the 2017 Women’s PGA Championship. The LPGA will remain in the Dayton, Ohio area for next week’s Marathon Classic.
  1. Sam Horsfield held off a charging Thomas Detry to win the Hero Open, the second event on the European Tour’s ‘UK Swing’ created in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. It was the first professional victory for the 23-year-old Horsfield, who now leads the UK Swing points race that will dole out ten spots into next month’s U.S. Open. Horsfield ranked sixth or better in strokes gained tee to green, around the green and approach for the tournament.
  1. Richy Werenski finished the final round eagle-par-birdie to win the Barracuda Championship. The win comes one week after Werenski held the 54-hole co-lead in Minneapolis before finishing tied for third. It’s the first PGA Tour victory for Werenski.
  1. At last, it’s a major championship week! The PGA Championship begins Thursday at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Brooks Koepka is trying to become the first player to win the same major three consecutive years since Peter Thomson won The Open Championship in 1954, 1955 and 1956.