Thomas finishes lucrative season with FedEx Cup
Schauffele wins Tour Championship
ATLANTA — Justin Thomas is the FedEx Cup champion after a season that included his first major title and more victories than anyone else on the PGA Tour.
Standing next to him at the trophy ceremony on Sunday was Xander Schauffele, who never imagined being at the Tour Championship, much less winning it.
Both put on quite a show.
Schauffele recorded four par saves on the back nine at East Lake and swirled in a three-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 2-under round of 68 that gave the 23-year-old rookie from San Diego a 12-under total of 268 and a one-shot victory over Thomas.
Thomas (66) claimed the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus, and the runner-up prize money of $945,000 moved him over $10 million for the year to win the money title — Thomas won five events this season, including the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course, the Sony Open at Oahu’s Waialae Country Club, where he broke the tour’s 72-hole scoring record, and the PGA Championship.
“I feel like I played so well this year,” Thomas said. “I was consistent. A lot of great weeks and great memories.”
Two players hadn’t celebrated at East Lake since 2009, when Tiger Woods won the FedEx Cup and Phil Mickelson won the Tour Championship.
Schauffele is the first rookie to win the Tour Championship since it began in 1987.
A year ago, he missed his PGA Tour card by $975 on the Web.com Tour, then earned it in a four-tournament playoff.
In the first week of June this year, Schauffele was 134th in the FedEx Cup standings when he qualified for the U.S. Open in a five-man playoff for two spots — he then tied for fifth at Erin Hills, and won the Greenbrier Classic a month later. A week ago at Conway Farms, his season was about to end until he played the final six holes at 6 under to squeak into the Tour Championship.
“Five months ago, two months ago, three hours ago, I wasn’t expecting a lot,” Schauffele said. “I’ve hit every goal we’ve ever imagined.”
Jordan Spieth, the No. 1 FedEx Cup seed, closed with a 67 and tied for seventh at 273 to finish second in the points competition, good for a bonus of $3 million.