ATLANTA — Atop the FedEx Cup standings—and consequently the leader board going into the first round of the Tour Championship—Justin Thomas is in the best position to win the FedEx Cup and the $15 million that goes with it this week at East Lake. Not that the hefty payout is providing any extra motivation for the already very-rich superstar.
“It’s not going to change my life,” said Thomas, 25, who has already amassed more than $30 million in on-course earnings alone as a pro golfer, to say nothing of millions more in lucrative endorsement deals. “It’s unbelievable, and it’s an extremely substantial amount of money, and how FedEx has stepped up to take care of us players is crazy. [But] money has never driven me. I hope it never will. I play to win trophies and win championships and be the best player to ever walk the planet, and that’s all I play for.”
That’s not to say money has never mattered to Thomas.
Before he made it to the PGA Tour (and made it big), Thomas spent 2014 playing on the Web.com Tour. That same year, he got exemptions into seven events on the PGA Tour, including the Memorial, where he was in the top 20 when playing the 18th hole on Sunday.
Then he made a double bogey to finish T-37.
“I didn’t look it up,” Thomas said Wednesday, “[but] it cost me a lot.”
His mom, Jani, did. The difference between par and double was worth about $40,000, and she texted him to let him know about it.
“I was like, Mom, if you ever send me a text like this again, I will delete your number,” Thomas said. “Don’t ever text me something like this.
“That was something where, especially in a text message where you can’t hear the tone, you just like look at it, you’re like, Really? Did you need to send that?”
Probably not. But Thomas still hasn’t forgotten about it. Thankfully for him, his career has worked out pretty well since with 10 PGA Tour wins, including a major, and a chance to pad his bank account a lot more this week.