Justin Thomas won the CJ Cup for his second in four starts, but it was a week to forget for defending champion Brooks Koepka
CJ Cup report: What happened at Nine Bridges?
Since missing the cut at the US Open in June, Justin Thomas has found some serious form, recording a run of T11, T12, T12, 1, T3, T4, 1.
His latest PGA Tour win is his 11th, and his second at the CJ Cup in just the third edition of the popular event in South Korea.
Thomas led the way going into the weekend thanks to opening rounds of 68 and 63, but a third-round 70 meant he had work to do on Sunday. The 26-year-old had the perfect start with two birdies in the opening three holes. Further gains came at 8, 9, 12, 14 and 18 in a 5-under 67 that saw him win by two over Danny Lee.
Hideki Matsuyama, Gary Woodland and Cameron Smith were three further back at 15-under.
Tyrrell Hatton led the European charge in a tie for 6th at 13-under, his best finish in a regular PGA Tour event, while Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter also got into double figures under par.
CJ Cup report: Anything else?
Defending champion Brooks Koepka had a week to forget.
After telling the world he doesn’t consider Rory McIlroy a rival in another outspoken press conference, Koepka carded a second-round 75 after hurting himself in bizarre circumstances.
“During the course of Friday’s round, I slipped on wet concrete, aggravating a previous injury to my left knee,” Koepka said via a statement.
“After consulting with my doctor, I have been advised to withdraw from the CJ Cup and head home for further tests. I appreciate everyone’s concerns and support. I’ll keep you posted as I learn more.”
It’s a blow for the World No. 1, who underwent surgery on his left knee during the off-season to fix a partially-torn patella tendon. Koepka had told reporters he felt was “100 per cent” before opening his title defence with a 3-under 69.
As for what’s next for Koepka, his website is very secretive, but it’s unlikely we’ll see him now before the Hero World Challenge in December.
CJ Cup report: What the winner had to say
Watch JT’s winning press conference here:
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 20, 2019
CJ Cup report: Shot of the week
How about this from Jordan Spieth, who seems to have found his touch again…
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 19, 2019
But the winner has to be Phil Mickelson, who hit the flagstick from all of 350 yards…
Should have taken the flag out, Phil…
— NCG (@NCG_com) October 18, 2019
CJ Cup report: What’s next?
The PGA Tour stays in the Far East for inaugural Zozo Championship, which will preceded by an exhibition Skins match involving Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama. You can find all the details for that here.