Justin Thomas details post Tiger Woods era at Valspar Championship


Scottie Scheffler has emerged as one of the most dominant names in recent PGA Tour history. The things he has accomplished in the last three years are now being compared to Tiger Woods.

He easily holds the No. 1 World ranking. After going back-to-back at Arnie’s Place and capturing his second straight Players Championship, people are starting to wonder if golf is better when someone is this dominant.

Ahead of the Valspar Championship, Justin Thomas was asked for his thoughts on the post-Tiger era in relation to a singular figure leading the sport.

“Anybody’s going to watch Rory or someone like him or Jordan [Spieth] or whatever win by seven or eight,” Thomas said. “Jordan might be leading by six, but he’s still going to have that hilarious conversation with Greller in the trees on 16 of how he feels like he can slice this 3-wood onto the green when it’s not going to gain him anything. Maybe he pulls it off, and maybe he doesn’t — or chips it — there’s the excitement factor versus others.”

Thomas basically hinted that in the post-Woods era, the leading figures need to have personalities.

The “others” comment refers to those on tour that might not garner as much attention through things other than their play.

He was also asked who he believed to be the most dominant player over the last decade.

The Players, Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler

Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

“Scottie’s obviously the first person that comes to mind,” Thomas said. “I think of dominant and I think of people winning four, five, six times in a season or going on a stretch… Nobody holds a candle to Scottie in the last couple years.”

“But, to me, dominance is winning and winning a lot and often, and I guess when nobody has had Tiger-like, obviously, kind of things — then it’s whoever’s done it the most. So I would say probably Scottie.”

What Scheffler is doing on Tour now can only be compared to Woods.

Thomas did have three or four other names in his head outside the former Texas Longhorn before he settled on his answer.

“I thought of myself for a couple of years. I won eight or 10 times in two or three years,” he said. “I mean, Rory, Jordan, kind of there for a little bit. D.J. [Dustin Johnson].”

Interestingly, Scheffler has the reputation for being a bit bland. Recent weeks have seen golf media asking players if they believe Scheffler’s personality is why he has not become a superstar to the general public.

Clearly, he has the game for it.

Scheffler turned pro in 2020. Since then, he has made 99 of 118 cuts. The 27-year-old has eight PGA Tour wins, seven runner-up finishes, 10 third places, 36 top-5s, and 49 top-10s.

He is playing on another level.

But will Thomas’ assertion prove correct? Does the PGA Tour need someone who seeks the lime light more than Scheffler to truly elevate in the post-Woods era? Only time will tell.

But one thing is for sure: Scheffler is not going anywhere.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.





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