Justin Thomas left Wanamaker Trophy with Rickie Fowler to ride out Hurricane Irma

By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Thursday, September 14, 2017 | 8:56 a.m.

Hurricane Irma devastated many areas over the weekend.

South Florida felt its wrath. Justin Thomas, the 2017 PGA Champion, calls Jupiter, Fla., home, along with scores of other Tour pros.

He was fortunate to make it through the storm relatively unscathed, but still took precautions before hitting the road early for Chicago to play in this week's BMW Championship.

"I didn't do a lot," said Thomas, winner of five PGA Tour events this season so far. "I probably overexaggerated in terms of having to do a lot. More just getting ready to leave sort of stuff because traveling for three weeks, I get stressed when I have to pack for one week let alone three and a half weeks, so it was just making sure you have the stuff packed, having to get dry cleaned, do laundry, get stuff around the house and go make sure this car is in the garage and make sure stuff outside, the outdoor furniture is inside."

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Thomas said he took a television in from outside, took the outside furniture inside, made sure his vehicles were all OK and then took photos of everything in case he needed to submit a claim.

Then there was the matter of some valuables. He packed those up, including one very special item, and drove them over to Rickie Fowler's house to ride out the storm.

"I had some valuables that I actually just took to Rickie's house down the street because he has a safe that's kind of -- that's built in the ground and is a little more sturdy than I may have and took the Wanamaker, took some watches and some other valuables and put them in there because I figured at least I have those if everything goes," Thomas said.

So, there you have it. The Wanamaker Trophy was in a safe at Fowler's house to get through the storm.

And how did they make out?

"Mandatory evacuation," Thomas said. "We both left Thursday. We got very, very lucky. Jupiter -- I shouldn't say we, I mean the State of Florida got hammered and it's awful the last couple of weeks of what the hurricanes have done and growing up in Louisville I never had -- never had to deal with anything like this. You just have to deal with the tornado every once in awhile, but even those are usually never anything crazy.

"Like I said, it's hard for me to grasp," he said. "I'm just hoping that every place and home and family that was affected can have -- have a speedy recovery and everything can get back to normal as quick as possible."

 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.