Justin Thomas overcomes miscues for Maui win, Jordan Spieth drops out of Sony Open and Tiger Woods parts from longtime aide: What you missed
It’s said the Pacific Ocean has no memory. That’s good, because Justin Thomas would like to forget the final hour or so of his Sunday at Kapalua. Save for the ending, that is.
Thomas overcame late miscues to defeat Patrick Reed and Xander Schauffele in a playoff to win the the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
“For some reason I was supposed to win this week,” Thomas said after winning the TOC for the second time in his career. “Just tried to tell myself there’s a reason I’m still here, and we’ve still got a chance to win, and we were fortunate enough to do that.”
Through 12 holes, the issue didn’t seem in doubt. Starting his round one back of Schauffele, Thomas racked up five birdies in his first 11 holes to take a three-shot lead on a blustery day in Maui. But Thomas bogeyed the 16th and unfathomably hit his approach at the par-5 18th into a penalty area, failing to get up-and-down to save par. With Schauffele on in two, it appeared the X-Man would repeat in Hawaii.
Except Schauffele three-jacked, forcing sudden death with Thomas and Reed, the latter who turned in a Sunday-best 66 to get to 14 under and then waited to see if it was good enough. Replaying the 18th, Schauffele made par to the birdies of Thomas and Reed, with Thomas and Reed trading pars on the second playoff hole. On the third playoff hole (and fourth go-around of the 18th), Thomas—whose second shot barely cleared the left-side penalty area—put his third shot to five feet. Despite being just off the green in two, Reed could not make birdie, giving the event to Thomas.
“A decent amount of them I got fortunate like I did today, that’s what happens when you win, stuff goes your way,” Thomas said of his 18th hole adventures. “Obviously you have to play well and make some putts and hit some shots, but at the end of the day you need stuff to go your way, and it definitely did today.”
Tiger Woods as the only players with 12 wins before the age of 27.” data-reactid=”19″>It is Thomas’ third win in his last six PGA Tour starts, and his 12th career tour victory. If that sounds impressive, it is: Thomas joined Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players with 12 wins before the age of 27.