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By : BGA Proshop
In what could only be described as trying conditions in the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, Hawaii, Justin Thomas wins in a playoff beating Patrick Reed and Xander Schauffele.
In a pretty solid field, 8 of the nine players who finished on top of the leader board all played in the President’s Cup at Royal Melbourne 4 weeks ago where team USA beat the internationals.
So blustery conditions and what you would come to expect in Hawaii, Thomas started the day one shot back from Schauffele but took control of the tournament from the 8th hole where he went on to birdie the next four in a row. He then birdied the 14th and 15th and looked like he was cruising home with a two shot lead with 3 holes to play but late bogeys on the 16th and 18th dropped him into a tie for the lead.
Thomas was lucky to win the tournament as Schauffele had an excellent chance on the 18th to win but pushed his putt out to the right and went into a three man play with Reed as well.
Thomas luck continued in the playoff where he dodged Reed missing putts to win on the first and second playoff hole before he made a clutch birdie on the 3rd playoff hole to win.
This was his 12th PGA Tour victory and becomes the most prolific Tour winner of these in their 20s. It is also his second win this season, and third in his last six TOUR starts.
“The emotions and how I was winning and then I was barely winning and then I was losing and then I barely got in a playoff… that takes a lot out of you. I probably don't seem as elated as I might be or as I would hope to be,” Thomas confirmed.
“But it'll just take a little bit. Once I get back to the hotel hopefully with my family, I'll be able to enjoy it a little bit and we'll talk about it. But relief is definitely a word that comes to mind.
“I truly felt like through 15 holes it was one of the best rounds I had played. I was in such control tee to green. I was putting it beautifully, my irons were awesome, and I hit a really good drive on 16, just the wind took it more, and then 18 was just a disaster. I really didn't hit very many good shots on the hole. But it worked out.”
Thomas only started the week by saying that he had been disappointed that he had not won more and he was trying to rectify this week.
“It means a lot. 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.
“It's not supposed to be that hard. I know it's hard, but I made it about five times as hard as it needed to be. 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, and it feels great.
“It's another one down. I want to keep building on that, and I feel like I'm really just trying to get better every year, and we're improving in some of the right areas. Next week we will try to get to 13.”