Two months after muttering an anti-gay slur on the golf course ... Justin Thomas was back holding up a trophy -- winning the Players Championship on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass.
The 27-year-old lost several major sponsors -- including Ralph Lauren -- back in January after television mics caught him using the f-word during a round at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
Thomas had missed a 5-foot putt ... and, as he kicked the ensuing shot into the hole, he said "f*****" under his breath.
NBC / PGA Tour
Thomas later called the incident "inexcusable" and apologized ... saying, "It's terrible. I'm extremely embarrassed. It's not who I am; it's not the kind of person that I am or anything that I do."
A few weeks later in February, Justin lost his grandpa, who died at 89 years old ... and then also nearly lost his good pal, Tiger Woods, in a terrifying car crash just weeks after that.
Thomas -- who had intended to enter a "training program" to learn from the anti-gay slur incident -- said all of it had tested him "mentally, physically, emotionally."
But, Thomas finally put everything behind him this weekend ... and used a monster 4th-round Sunday to hold off stars like Lee Westwood and Bryson DeChambeau to earn the PGA Tour win.
"It’s been a crappy couple of months," Thomas said Sunday. "I’ve had stuff happen in my life I never thought I’d have happen."
Thomas added, "I kept telling everyone on my team or my family I’m ready for something good to happen this year."
"It’s been a pretty bad year and a lot of bad things have happened, but that’s life. I’d say this qualifies as something good."