Justin Thomas stood before the 18th tee box of Sedgefield Country Club at 11-under par.He needed one more birdie at the Wyndham Championship to solidify himself among the Top 70 of the FedEx Cup standings.After hooking his tee shot left of the fairway into the pine straw, Thomas managed to hit his second shot to a spot just in front of the green.
He faced a 34-yard chip shot for his third, and Thomas needed it to drop.
It came millimeters from doing so.
The effort, the emotions… Justin Thomas hits the pin on the 18th for birdie which would of put him inside the Top 70 for the FedEx Cup Playoffs😞pic.twitter.com/V1rxZDJdvL
— Playing Through (@_PlayingThrough) August 6, 2023
The two-time major champion struck it perfectly, as it landed 12 feet before the pin, took a few bounces, and kissed the flagstick.
Instead of dropping in the hole, his ball ricocheted off the pin, which produced a priceless reaction from Thomas. He hit the ground, lying on his back in disbelief.“It would have been incredible if it would have gone in,” Thomas said about his third shot on 18. After walking off the 18th green, Thomas found himself in 71st in the FedEx Cup standings.
He is the first man out of the field at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, the first of three playoff events on the PGA Tour. “So much can [still] happen,” Thomas said of his current standing. “Other guys that are still out there are both tied with me and ahead of me. I was in this situation during my rookie year. I finished, and I was projected around 27th [at the 2016 BMW Championship]. I was told that I’m in the TOUR Championship; it’s all good.”
“Then, someone birdies four of his last five, birdies his last three, someone makes a 30-footer, and suddenly I’m the first man out. But at the same time that happens, the other way can happen too.” Indeed, Thomas could still find his way into the playoffs, but he will need extra help from players still on the golf course. A lightning delay halted the final round of the Wyndham Championship at 4:52 ET, just minutes after Thomas’ pitch-shot on 18.
“I played the best I could, and I fought as hard as I could and shot the lowest I possibly could,” Thomas said of his 2-under 68. “I just have to hope that somehow it’s good enough.”
Will it be good enough? Who knows. But Thomas, despite playing some of the worst golf of his career as of late, made things interesting down the stretch. At least he put himself in a position to have a chance—something many other players do not have.