Justin Thomas Was Mere Inches Short of Setting a Record at The Players Championship but Still Took Home the Largest Check in PGA Tour History

The PGA Tour‘s flagship event, The Players Championship, has long been seen as golf’s unofficial fifth major championship and Sunday afternoon at famed TPC Sawgrass certainly had that major feel to it. As 54-hole leader Lee Westwood and Bryson DeChambeau struggled in the final group, Justin Thomas took advantage, playing a near-perfect round to overcome a three-shot deficit to earn his 14th career title.

With the win at The Players, JT joined quite the exclusive club, which we’ll explain in just a moment, took home the largest single-tournament paycheck in PGA Tour history, and came within inches of setting an incredible record.

Justin Thomas came within inches of setting an amazing PGA Tour record at The Players Championship

After making the cut by only a couple of shots following a pair of 71s on Thursday and Friday, Justin Thomas had himself quite the weekend at The Players as he fired an 8-under round of 64 on Saturday to put himself in contention and closed things out with a 4-under 68 on Sunday, a round in which he hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation, falling just short of an incredible record.

Coming into the difficult 18th on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday, Thomas had hit 27 greens in a row, obviously including the first 17 of his final round, which is simply remarkable. Following that dramatic tee shot at the last that hugged the water, JT left his second shot just a few inches short of the green on the way to making par.

Now, had that second shot rolled just a few inches further, Thomas would have become the first player in PGA Tour history to hit all 18 greens in the final round of The Players Championship and the first winner of the tournament to hit all 18 greens in any round. But let’s not feel to sorry for JT here. The now-14-time PGA Tour winner still joined an exclusive club of players with his win at Sawgrass.

JT joined quite the exclusive club with his win at The Players

With his victory at TPC Sawgrass, Justin Thomas became just the fourth player in history to win a major championship, The Players Championship, the FedEx Cup title, and a World Golf Championships event.

The only other players to achieve the feat are Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Henrik Stenson.

Justin Thomas took home the largest single-tournament check in PGA Tour history

Justin Thomas celebrates after winning the 2021 edition of The Players Championship
Justin Thomas | Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

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The 2021 edition of The Players Championship featured the largest purse in PGA Tour history at $15 million. Justin Thomas earned $2.7 million with the victory, the largest single-tournament winner’s share on record, not including the bonus-rich Tour Championship at the end of the season. Here’s how the top five and ties at The Players made out on Sunday (h/t Golf Digest).

  • Justin Thomas (-14): $2,700,000
  • Lee Westwood (-13): $1,635,000
  • Bryson DeChambeau (-12): $885,000
  • Brian Harman (-12): $885,000
  • Paul Casey (-11): $579,375
  • Talor Gooch (-11): $579,375