This week at the Tour Championship: JT trousers $10m, Schauffele the title

Golf News

Justin Thomas ended a sensational season by becoming the FedEx Cup champion at East Lake as Xander Schauffele pipped him for the Tour Championship...

What happened at the Tour Championship?

Xander Schauffele wasn’t even eligible for Augusta, he then became just one of 15 players to reach double (red) figures at the US Open and then captured the Greenbrier Classic.

Here at East Lake he captured the Tour Championship, making a birdie at the last – his two-foot putt horseshoed its way in – to pip Justin Thomas, though his disappointment won’t have lasted too long as he collected the $10 million cheque for becoming the FedEx Cup champion.

As for Schauffele he also sealed, in some style, the Rookie of the Year award. The 23-year-old was only at East Lake due to his remarkable finish last week at the BMW Championship – he played the last six holes in six under par, five under wouldn’t have been enough. He is the first rookie to win the Tour Championship.

Thomas ends the season with five wins, including the PGA Championship, and he closed with a 66 after making birdies at 16 and 17 before just coming up shy at the last.

Russell Henley shot the best round of the day, a closing birdie going alongside four on the front nine to sign for a 65.

Jordan Spieth, who began the week in pole position for the huge pay out, looked like making a late run for it when he holed out at the 10th and then stuffed another one in to kick-in range at the 13th but his challenge then stalled. At one point there was 20 points between Spieth and Thomas as the lead chopped and changed.

As for the final pairing Paul Casey and Kevin Kisner they both put one in the water at the 15th and, though they got up and down from the drop zone for a pair of bogeys, they had too much to do over the last three holes. Kisner eventually tied for third with his countryman Henley.

Talking points  

Should you be thinking about backing Paul Casey as the first-round leader then here is some encouraging news. At the start of the week he leads the Tour this year with a 68.77 scoring average on Thursday. If you were thinking of backing Casey in a match bet on Sunday then look away now – he ranks down in 67th with a final-round average of  70.33.

At East Lake Casey opened with a 66, he signed off with a 73.

Steve Williams won’t be on Adam Scott’s bag next season, having got together in 2011, and he will be breaking new ground this week when he caddies in a women’s event.

Williams will be on the bag of American Solheim Cup heroine and major champion Danielle Kang in the New Zealand Women’s Open in a new venture and one that has been brought about through a coaching connection.

“Danielle is a good player and once you start the tournament, you want to win, so nothing will change there,” Williams told the New Zealand Herald. “I’ve never caddied at any professional women’s event before so it’ll be a good experience to see if I can learn something from how they do things.

As for Scott, who he helped win the 2013 Masters, their time will be done after two events in Asia next month.

“I’m not going to caddie for Adam next year, he’ll return to having a full-time caddie. He’s had a job share where he’s had two caddies for the last two seasons but he wants to return to one caddie next season.”

Webb Simpson has missed the Tour Championship the past past two years but he still didn’t feel the need for a practice round at East Lake. Rather the 2012 US Open champion chose to take out a couple of wedges and walked nine holes on Tuesday and Wednesday with his short-game coach Pat Goss.

“I feel like I’m having to bridge the gap. I can do it really well on the chipping green but I’ve been having a hard time transitioning to the course, so we’ve been working on that. We want to make those two a little more similar.”

Shot of the week

Spieth knows how to make a move…

Best stats

If you don’t follow Golf Channel’s Justin Ray on Twitter, then you should. There is no better statistician in the game…

Best dressed

You generally like to think you know where you are with Spieth’s wardrobe; a light pant to go with some shade of blue on top or occasionally a bright colour. Here he is on Saturday going all gladiatorial and he gets the nod for the surprise factor rather than anything else.

Jordan Spieth

Worst dressed

Here’s swing coach Sean Foley. Where to start…

Sean Foley

Best tweets

Read more

 

Previous article
Next article
Top