Players Championship 2021: Justin Thomas Earns 1-Shot Win over Lee Westwood

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 14, 2021

Justin Thomas celebrates after a birdie on the 16th hole during the final round of The Players Championship golf tournament Sunday, March 14, 2021, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Justin Thomas won the 2021 Players Championship on Sunday after finishing the first round in a tie for 26th place.

Golf Digest @GolfDigest

@JustinThomas34 A club twirl was definitely necessary. 😅 https://t.co/5XK5Gzowd2

In the final round, he climbed two spots up the leaderboard for a one-shot victory over Lee Westwood.


Putting together a final round for the ages. @JustinThomas34 hasn't missed a green today. No one has hit every green in a final round at @THEPLAYERSChamp (since 1983). https://t.co/ZZNzO7Z6bK

The win is his first victory of 2021, and he claimed it by hitting 94.4 percent of the greens in regulation in the final round. 

His putt for par on No. 17 was perhaps his most clutch moment of the tournament.


Clutch par at 17. @JustinThomas34 heads to the 18th with a 1-shot lead. https://t.co/v8Zs2Ia0EO

Westwood, who conceded his place atop the leaderboard to Bryson DeChambeau late in last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, was in strong position to contend on Sunday, having held his lead from Saturday late into the final round before Thomas took over.


EAGLE for @JustinThomas34. 🦅 He leads by 1 @THEPLAYERSChamp. #QuickHits https://t.co/G9ouC8wPo4

Thomas climbed up from third place to hold the outright lead by getting three birdies and an eagle in a four-hole stretch, though Westwood came crawling back.


A BIG birdie for @WestwoodLee at 14. He's tied for the lead @THEPLAYERSChamp. #QuickHits https://t.co/S49kQjgIU5


DeChambeau's double bogey on No. 4 put him out of the race early, but he eagled on No. 16 to get back up toward the top. 


Final Leaderboard

1. Justin Thomas (-14)

2. Lee Westwood (-13)

T3. Brian Harman, Bryson DeChambeau (-12)

T5. Talor Gooch, Paul Casey (-11)

7. Corey Conners (-10)

8. Shane Lowry (-9)

T9. Charles Howell III, Daniel Berger, Jason Kokrak, Victor Perez, Si Woo Kim, Sergio Garcia, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Jon Rahm (-8)

Full leaderboard via PGATour.com.

Sky Sports News @SkySportsNews

🗣️ "It was probably one of the best rounds of my life tee-to-green" An emotional Justin Thomas was thrilled to win #ThePlayers Championship after a tough year on and off the course https://t.co/HbA4hBrOqm

"I fought so hard today," an emotional Thomas said after play. "I stayed really patient. Probably one of the best rounds of my life, tee-to-green." 

He also paid tribute to his late grandfather, Paul, who died in February. Paul Thomas appeared in two PGA Championships and a U.S. Open, and the younger Thomas has been open about the impact his grandfather had on his game.  


"I wish I could talk to him, but I know he's watching." @JustinThomas34 gets emotional when asked about his late grandfather after winning @THEPLAYERSChamp. https://t.co/FoHTtOh2QU

Next up is The Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Sungjae Im will look to defend his title from last March.