How Players of the Year have fared the next season

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Justin Thomas was announced on Wednesday as the 2016-17 PGA Tour Player of the Year. Thomas won five times, including the PGA Championship, as well as the FedExCup title.

The new season starts this week with the Safeway Open and Thomas got a good jump on his POY campaign last fall by winning the CIMB Classic.

Can Thomas back up his breakthrough season? No player has repeated as POY since Tiger Woods did a decade ago, in 2007. Here’s a look at how players performed the following season after taking home the Tour’s top honor.

(Note: Players’ statistics from POY campaign in parentheses)

*=Competed in 7 events because of injury

**=Competed in 6 events because of injury

POY the following season Tour wins Best major finish Top-10s FEC rank
2017: Dustin Johnson 4 (3) T13 (W) 8 (15) 4 (2)
2016: Jordan Spieth 2 (5) T2 (2W) 8 (15) 9 (1)
2015: Rory McIlroy 2 (3) 4 (2W) 7 (12) 15 (3)
2014: Tiger Woods* 0 (5) 69 (T4) 0 (8) 218 (2)
2013: Rory McIlroy 0 (4) T8 (W) 5 (10) 50 (2)
2012: Luke Donald 1 (2) T5 (T4) 8 (14) 9 (3)
2011: Jim Furyk 0 (3) T24 (T16) 4 (7) 36 (1)
2010: Tiger Woods 0 (6) T4 (2) 2 (14) 42 (1)
2009: Padraig Harrington 0 (2) T10 (2W) 6 (6) 7 (24)
2008: Tiger Woods** 4 (7) W (W) 6 (12) 11 (1)

 

As you can see, there was a period where players' performances dropped off considerably, but the most recent POY winners have held their own the following year. None of the players, save for Woods in 2008, were able to better or equal their top major performance from the previous season. If the trend continues, Thomas is in for a very good - but not major-winning - 2017-18 campaign.