In news that is surprising to virtually nobody in the golf world, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele won PGA Tour and Players of the Year honors respectively. Schauffele beat out Wesley Bryan, Patrick Cantlay, Mackenzie Hughes and Grayson Murray, while Thomas topped the likes of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Hideki Matsuyama.
Both Thomas and Schauffele had significantly better seasons than their counterparts.
Schauffele won two times on Tour this year at The Greenbrier Classic and the season ending Tour Championship. In addition to the two wins, he recorded four top-10 finishes and 20 made cuts in 28 starts.
“On behalf of the PGA Tour, congratulations to Xander Schauffele on being voted PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “Being recognized by your peers is one of the highest honors a player can receive, and Xander’s win at the Tour Championship during the FedExCup Playoffs capped off what had already been a remarkable rookie season.”
Thomas had a year for the record books. In addition to his five wins, Justin shot a 59 at the Sony Open and a record tying 63 at the US Open. He was also a member of the winning Presidents Cup team. Oh, and one of his wins just happened to be his first career major. Despite all that, Thomas still wasn’t sure that he would win the honors until he received the phone call.
“It’s something that I felt like I may win just because of Atlanta and how the year ended, but I knew how tight of a race it was going up until then and how many people had the opportunity or with one week to kind of change everything,” Thomas said on Wednesday.
Neither Schauffele or Thomas will have much time to celebrate their awards. Both will start their 2017-2018 seasons next week at the CIMB Classic, where Thomas is the defending champion.