PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fl. (AP) – Just Astin Thomas was 16 years old when he made his debut on the PGA Tour at 65, the start of a career in the Wyndham Championships that was full of great moments with very little difficulty.
The grandson of PGA professionals, he won the PGA Championship for his first profession at the age of 24. He reached number 1 in the world. He won the FedEx Cup. He had blue chip sponsors. And he finished last year with his father, Mike, as they won the PNC championship.
The New Year brought hope to a confusion he had never imagined – a test, unlike anything he has ever found on a golf course.
“Things happened in my life that I never thought would happen,” Thomas said Sunday night after adding another big moment to a young career that was already filled with them by winning the Players’ Championship.
“I had to understand that, I had to overcome it,” he said. “If I wanted to feel sorry for myself or feel sorry for myself, there is no reason to show up. I can stay home until I feel ready. … It tested me mentally, physically, emotionally. And I’m very proud of myself for being able to do that. “
He did it in a big way. Coming out of the two cuts that started four times as his world seemed to sink around him, Thomas was out of the nine-hole cut line on Friday when he trained four birds. From there, he equalized the lowest score of 36 holes in the treacherous TPC Sawgrass (64-68) to beat Lee Westwood by one blow.
The ball was so high that Thomas, who was pushing back three of three shots with a score of less than 68, stood to be the first winner to hit every green in the final. He hit the edge of the last hole.
Thomas drowned thinking about his grandfather Paul, who died last month. Mike Thomas broke down thinking about the casualties he and his son have suffered over the past few months.
“I told him today when it was over, as if it were the old Just Astin Thomas district,” said the father.
Winning does not save everything, but it does not hinder. This one needed Thomas, and he found the right time to present a play that, with the exception of a pair of triads, was close to perfect.
He was arguing in Capalua over the weekend when he missed a short blow, muttering the anti-gay controversy under his nose, which was barely audible on a hot microphone, on much higher social media sites. After two days of making mistakes and apologizing for the interviews, the clothing sponsor turned her down. Someone publicly reprimanded him.
Thomas missed the Abu Dhabi episode և He was in a frenzy at the Phoenix Open when he received the latest news before the death of his last grandfather. He equaled 13th place, sobbing after his lap.
“I have never played the toughest round,” said Thomas.
He missed the passage on the Riviera. Ward is the host of the tournament, Tiger Woods, who arrived in Los Angeles on Friday night and sent a text message offering to meet them for dinner, knowing that Thomas had missed the section and was going home. Woods took so much to Thomas և his family that the needle always came out.
A few days later, Woods was seriously injured in a car accident in Los Angeles, և Thomas spoke excitedly about it.
It has been a lot.
Thomas turned to a specialist for help; he was not ashamed to admit it. He had a lot of support from his family and girlfriend, Ill Il Winsky.
“I reached out to talk to people to sort of let go of my feelings, just to discuss things with things,” said Thomas. “I think it’s something, especially at our level, a lot of people probably think they’re bigger և better than that, but some thoughts և things I felt, it was not fair to me, և I had to do something. “
On the weekends, his head was in the right place, as he was in the game. It was a victory at the time, not so much because the Masters are in the corner, but because he needed to put the first rough patch of his career behind him.
Mike Thomas was watching his son on the Riviera, he could hardly recognize him inside the ropes with missed shots, ordinary wedge play, indifference. Only three players had 36 worse holes there, one of them still in college.
The son she saw over the weekend in Savgrass looked more like a family. Old was Just Astin Thomas.
“I kept telling everyone I was ready for something good to happen this year,” Thomas said. “It was a pretty bad year, a lot of bad things happened, but it’s life. That’s part of it. And you have to take it for granted, և try to get better because of it.
“Yes, I would say this is a good thing.”
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