PGA Tour: Tournament of Champions – Justin Thomas
The winning margin was eventually three but Justin Thomas was made to sweat for his third win in just 69 starts on Tour.
Thomas was five clear with five to play after making five birdies but then the in-form Hideki Matsuyama chipped in for eagle at the 14th and the American ‘fat-hooked’ one into a hazard at the next, the lead was down to one.
But Thomas ripped an 8-iron at the 17th from 214 yards to three feet and Matsuyama three-putted and that was that.
Another birdie at the 72nd hole put him three clear and on the fringes of the world top 10. He also won the CIMB Classic in October so now becomes the first multiple winner of the season.
Jordan Spieth shot a final round 65 in the toughest conditions of the week to move into a share of third and he will be left to rue a double and a treble in his nine-birdie 69 on Friday.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 9, 2017
What Justin Thomas said: “I stumbled more than I would have liked to do. But it shows where my game is at right now. I had some woes there but I stuck it out to still get it done.
“I told my caddy walking up to 17 tee we would have taken this spot before the week started. I was still playing great. I was hitting a lot of good shots. It was just a lot slimmer lead than it could have been.
“I wasn’t mad (at not winning more) but it was maybe a little frustrating sometimes seeing some friends and peers my age do well. Not because I wasn’t cheering for them because I feel like I was as good as them. It’s just immature of me. I mean, the fact of the matter is, over the course of a long career, we’re going to beat each other. That’s just how it is.”