Justin Thomas held off Adam Scott, Brendan Steele, and Kevin Na to win the first of many PGA Tour titles at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. You might think I’m going to use this space to gloat about my Thomas related predictions, but nearly everyone capable of forming an opinion on golf could see this coming. Does Gwen Stefani gloat when she spells “bananas” right in a spelling bee? No. This was just too easy. Unfortunately this win came during the middle of the night in the U.S., and during a time when most golf fans are tuned out, but that doesn’t make this victory any less significant.

Thomas was this close to getting into a playoff at the opening event of the new season at the Frys.com Championship, and has knocked on the door frequently enough in his short career without breaking through to make some (not very smart) people start to question his ability to close a tournament. Remember, it’s not that long ago that some people were also questioning the ability of a certain youngster’s ability to close based on an absurdly small sample of data. When I spoke with Thomas on our podcast back in May, we talked a bit about narratives in the media, and how he kind of rolls his eyes at some of the things people say. He touched on the “winning” narrative a bit in his interview with Arron Oberholser on the 18th green on Sunday:

“What I just kept telling myself is that it’s tough to win, ya know? I mean look at guys like Rickie. He’s done pretty well for himself, and it took him awhile to win, too. I understand we’re in a sport where the winning percentage isn’t in your favor.”

The Fowler example is a good one, as he’s been the poster boy for the “why doesn’t he win more” ignorance that runs all too rampant in the age of the hot take. Jake Nichols looked into this at the beginning of this year, and after a Players Championship and FedExCup playoff win, we’re no longer asking that question about Rickie. Winning is hard, and this concept is not a new one. Just because a guy doesn’t come out and go full Emiliano Grillo, it doesn’t mean that a player doesn’t have “it”, or “needs to learn how to close.” For almost everyone, there is going to be a lot more heartbreak than there are going to be trophies.

It looked like it was going to more heartbreak for Thomas when he chunked a wedge into the water on 14 with a one shot lead, and made double. While I was freaking out, pacing my apartment, and reading self-help books, Thomas looked completely unphased as he walked off the green, almost as if he knew in his head that he still had this thing. The bounce back over the next three holes was the emergence of the butterfly from the cocoon:

Resiliency. #QuickHits https://t.co/WDcjWAsu5Y

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 1, 2015

He followed that birdie on 15 with two more on 16 and 17. It was clinical. When I think back to this win, hopefully I remember those moments more than having to watch the last hole curled up underneath my desk as he made us all sweat it out on 18 after he ran his 20 foot birdie putt five feet by:

The winning putt …

Congratulations @JustinThomas34! https://t.co/HplcTZboUP

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 1, 2015

The list of guys that I set 4:00 AM alarms for to watch on TV is very short, but this was well worth the payoff. What is most exciting about this is what it means for Thomas’ future. This win alone vaults him to around 30 in the OWGR, puts him in the Masters, the WGC’s, and sets him up to make the 2015-2016 season “The Leap.” I’m not saying the JT bandwagon is getting crowded, but Drake is probably going to be front row for his next start, so get on board while you can. Also, he doesn’t lay up:

No guts, no glory. #QuickHits https://t.co/N2uAMuHzWV

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 1, 2015