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Justin Thomas and X-Man shine at East Lake, an update from Tiger Woods and tour pro speaks out on protests and Trump

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Justin Thomas and X-Man shine at East Lake, an update from Tiger Woods and tour pro speaks out on protests and Trump

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A year after Arnold Palmer's passing, Kit Palmer maintains loving memories of her husband

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A year after Arnold Palmer’s passing, his second wife, Kit Palmer, maintains loving memories of her husband

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The right golfer won the FedEx Cup title even if he didn't win the Tour Championship

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Justin Thomas came up one stroke short of winning the Tour Championship, but it was good enough for the bigger prize, the FedEx Cup title

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Bernhard Langer, now 60, wins PURE Insurance Open, his fifth victory of the season

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Bernhard Langer, now 60, wins PURE Insurance Open, his fifth victory of the season

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Xander Schauffele's 'wild ride' ends with Tour Championship victory and a $3.5 million payday

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Xander Schauffele’s ‘wild ride’ ends with Tour Championship victory and a $3.5 million payday

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After Further Review: 2017 Tour Championship

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Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here’s what’s weighing on our writers’ minds.

On youth being served on the PGA Tour …

Xander Schauffele, 23, may have won the Tour Championship Sunday in an upset, but the fact that the final event came down to a duel of youthful talent was fitting. After Sergio Garcia’s victory at the Masters, the rest of this year’s big prizes all belonged to rising young stars. Justin Thomas (24) won the PGA Championship and the FedEx Cup, and he will be the Player of the Year. Si Woo Kim (22) won The Players, Brooks Koepka (27) won the U.S. Open and Justin Spieth (24) The Open. Forty feels old again on the PGA Tour. – Randall Mell


Tour Championship: Articles, video and photos

Final FedExCup Playoff points standings


On a still underwhelming season finale …

It always helps when the soon-to-be Player of the Year wins the season-long title, but the FedExCup could still use a little freshening up.

Move it around. Add a cup-only Monday shootout separate from the Tour Championship proper. Options abound, but the fact remains that the scene at East Lake does not achieve the sizzle that 11 months of build-up would suggest. 

The schedule change that appears in the making for 2019 should help things, as the Tour’s culminating event escapes the shadow of the NFL. But there are still plenty of ways to get creative and improve a system that has now grown better at identifying the best player but still has room to grow amid the landscape of the game’s biggest tournaments. – Will Gray


On the lack of a true offseason …

Let the chorus of criticism begin as it does every year following the final putt at the Tour Championship. In 10 days, the new season will begin at the Safeway Open and that, for some, is just too much golf.

Lost in that desire to see golf embrace a true offseason are a pair of reasons why the PGA Tour will never embrace the less-is-more approach. Firstly, in the circuit’s own mission statement is the goal to create playing opportunities for every player, not just the game’s best.

There’s also a compelling business reality. If there are sponsors who are willing to write substantial checks to be a part of tournaments in the fall when the game takes an obvious back seat to football, the Tour is in no position to turn its back on that income. No business would.Rex Hoggard

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Justin Thomas shares the detailed goals he wrote down at the beginning of the season — and they were ridiculously on point

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Justin Thomas shares the detailed goals he wrote down at the beginning of the season — and they were ridiculously on point

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Watch the University of Minnesota mascot run over a child during halftime of Vikings game

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Watch the University of Minnesota mascot run over a child during halftime of Vikings game

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Tour winner Malnati offers support for anthem protests

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PGA Tour winner Peter Malnati tweeted a lengthy statement Sunday in support of recent national anthem protests, becoming one of the first golfers to chime in on an issue that has elicited polarizing responses from other athletes across the world of sports.

Malnati offered his thoughts on the controversy surrounding the latest comments from President Donald Trump. At a recent rally in Alabama, Trump described any NFL athlete who protests the anthem as a “son of a bitch” and encouraged team owners to “fire” players that do so.

What are the “American values” for which you stand? My thoughts on #TakeAKnee: pic.twitter.com/uMA9FJpld6

— Peter Malnati (@PeterMalnati) September 24, 2017

“Those who kneel during the national anthem aren’t disrespecting the heroes who sacrificed to defend the United States,” Malnati wrote. “Those who kneel are pointing out that as a nation, we are not doing a good job of upholding the values for which people sacrificed.”

While NFL players have been protesting the anthem since last season, Trump’s comments led to more widespread protests in recent days, including the first Major League Baseball player to kneel during the anthem and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ decision to remain in the locker room for the anthem prior to their game on Sunday. They also sparked pointed criticism from star athletes like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

Malnati, 30, won the 2015 Sanderson Farms Championship during his rookie year on Tour. He made 17 of 29 cuts last season and missed the playoffs but is fully exempt for the 2017-18 season by virtue of his win two years ago.

“The messages of the current administration make it painfully clear that greed, hubris and power are their ‘American values,'” Malnati wrote. “As for me, I stand for freedom. I stand for ‘justice, for all.’ I stand for equality, for empathy and for compassion. I kneel to hubris and greed. Therefore, I take a knee for the flag that represents this administration. Not because I don’t love this country, but because I do.”

The PGA Tour announced in July that Trump would serve as an “honorary chairman” at next week’s Presidents Cup. While the status of that invitation has not changed, the Tour declined to comment further on the matter until Monday when the event begins.

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FedEx Cup 2017: Winners & Losers from Sunday at the Tour Championship

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FedEx Cup 2017: Winners & Losers from Sunday at the Tour Championship

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