How Thomas outlasted his rivals at the PGA Championship

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Watch highlights from a fascinating final day at the 2017 PGA Championship where Justin Thomas lifted his maiden major title...

Justin Thomas is your 2017 PGA champion, becoming the third successive American to win a major championship this season.

However, the Wanamaker Trophy was anyone’s for the taking for much of the day with a five-way tie at the top near the halfway stage.

But 24-year-old Thomas emerged from the pack to power his way towards his first major title with a 3-under 68 for an overall 8-under 276.

James Broadhurst rounds up the best moments from the final round…

So what happened?

Thomas, who was playing in the penultimate pairing alongside the much-fancied Hideki Matsuyama, didn’t get off to the best of starts.

The American picked up two bogies in his first three holes, but birdies on the 7th, 9th, 10th, 13th and 17th holes proved enough to repel the challenge from a number of big names.

The turning point for Thomas arrived on the 10th when his birdie putt trickled towards the hole, stopped, and then dropped in the hole.

He then moved clear at the top with a sensational chip-in on the par-3 13th.

Francesco Molinari, Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler all put the pressure on with 4-under rounds of 67 but their challenges came too late in the day.

Meanwhile, overnight leader Kevin Kisner couldn’t sustain his good form on the final day as he slipped to a 3-over 74, while Matsuyama finished with a 1-over 72, three strokes behind Thomas.

Final leaderboard

-8 J Thomas (USA)
-6 F Molinari (ITA), P Reed (USA), L Oosthuizen (SA)
-5 R Fowler (USA), H Matsuyama (JPN)

Highlights

Feel-good moment of the day

European Tour rookie Jordan Smith couldn’t have wished for a better debut at a major championship.

A final round of 68, which included four birdies, propelled him into the top 10 on 1-under.

The 24-year-old Englishman certainly wasn’t overwhelmed or intimidated by the occasion at Quail Hollow. Expect him to be stronger for the experience.

Spare a thought for…

Chris Stroud.

The 35-year-old was the last player to qualify for this year’s tournament after he won the Barracuda Championship in a play-off with Greg Owen and Richy Werenski last weekend. It was his 290th PGA Tour start and he was playing on a conditional status.

Nobody expected the Texan to trouble the top of the leaderboard but after rounds of 68, 68 and 71, he found himself in the final pairing and in a five-way tie for the lead halfway through his final round.

His final day 76 shouldn’t detract from what was an outstanding week.

Best shots of the day

The par-3 17th played as one of the toughest holes over the course of the tournament but Justin Thomas made it look pedestrian with one swish of his iron.

He then rounded it off with a clinical birdie putt.

Louis Oosthuizen was doing all he could to chase down his second major title.

A big moment from Thomas on the 13th hole.

Behave yourself, Jon Rahm!

After a disastrous double bogey end to his third round, Jason Day began his final round in the best possible way.

Worst shot of the day

Oh dear, Jordan Spieth. It was Augusta National in 2016 all over again for the Open champion. He found the water twice on the 7th and eventually holed out for a double bogey.

Stats of the day

Also, did you know that was Patrick Reed’s first top 10 at a major? Astonishing.

Photo of the day

No words necessary.

Justin Thomas

Best dressed

A no-frills, understated look from Jason Day. And we love it.

Dressed in the dark

You know your trousers are a miss rather than a hit when Peter Alliss starts reminiscing about his grandmother’s carpet on the commentary.

Sorry, Chris Stroud.

Chris Stroud

Quote of the day

Will Rory McIlroy’s excellent 68 be the last round of golf we see from him until next year’s Masters?

The Northern Irishman has been suffering from back troubles that could see him take time out of the game.

He said: “You might not see my until next year. You might see me in a couple of weeks’ time. It really depends.”

More from the PGA Championship...

Visit NCG’s dedicated PGA Championship site for more from Quail Hollow

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