Monday 19 February 2018

Thomas earns fifth victory of the season in shoot-out

Justin Thomas poses with the Dell Technologies Championship trophy. Photo: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Thomas poses with the Dell Technologies Championship trophy. Photo: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Butler

US PGA champion Justin Thomas came out on top after a thrilling final-round shoot-out to win his fifth tournament of the season in the Dell Technologies Championship last night.

Thomas carded a final round of 66 at TPC Boston to finish 17 under par, three shots clear of Open champion Jordan Spieth in the second of four FedEx Cup play-off events.

The 24-year-old went into the final round in a tie for the lead and carded two birdies and an eagle in a front nine of 32, but remarkably still lost ground to playing partner Marc Leishman.

In a whirlwind of low scoring, Leishman birdied the first, second, fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth to race to the turn in 30, matching the outward nine of three-time major winner Spieth.

Spieth had started birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie to bring back memories of the four-hole stretch he played in five under par during the final round at Birkdale, with a 'dry spell' of two pars then followed by another birdie on the seventh.

All that meant Leishman took a two-shot lead into the back nine, but the Australian carded a hat-trick of bogeys from the 10th to effectively ruin his chances.

Justin Thomas reacts to the crowd after winning the Dell Technologies Championship golf tournament at TPC of Boston. Photo: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Thomas reacts to the crowd after winning the Dell Technologies Championship golf tournament at TPC of Boston. Photo: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas and Spieth were also not immune to mistakes on the tougher back nine, but it was Thomas who responded best to a bogey on the 11th with birdies on the 13th and 15th.

Spieth's bogey on the 14th left him two shots adrift of his good friend and another dropped shot on the last allowed Thomas to enjoy a relaxed finish that was hard to imagine just an hour or so earlier.

It was his fifth PGA Tour victory of the season, joining Spieth, Jason Day and Tiger Woods as the only men to achieve the feat this decade.

Irish Independent

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