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Sentry Tournament of Champions report

Thomas reaches 12 after play-off triumph

Justin Thomas was a relieved winner in Hawaii as he came through a three-way play-off to win the Tournament of Champions for a second time
 

Sentry Tournament of Champions report: What happened at Kapalua?

Justin Thomas came out on top in a three-way play-off to win his 12th PGA Tour title to become just the third player in the last 60 years to win 12 or more events before the age of 27.

Thomas trailed defending champion Xander Schauffele heading into the final day but a final round 69 saw him force a play-off with Patrick Reed also tying the winning score.

The trio finished 72 holes on 14-under and began the sudden death play-off where both Reed and Thomas kicked things off with a birdie. Schauffele was unable to match the pair’s scores and was eliminated after the first hole.

The second extra hole passed and it was a birdie on the third play-off hole that saw Thomas finally secure the win which really should have been his a lot earlier in the day.

Reed’s bid for the title was audacious and built upon a quite stunning putting week. He led the field in strokes gained and recorded just 99 putts in regulation throughout the week. He entered the clubhouse more than an hour before regular play concluded and it was somewhat of a surprise that his score was not surpassed.

For the majority of Sunday Thomas looked in  control – four consecutive birdies beginning at the 8th saw him take a two-shot lead over Schauffele and had him in prime position for his second win here.

However, things were not straightforward down the stretch. With three to play Thomas still led by two but a weak bogey at the 16th had that halved and had things worked out differently on 18 he may not have won at all.

After a poor tee shot on the par-5 closer he then pulled his 3-wood into a penalty area, leading to a costly penalty drop. Desperately striving to make par he left a 9-footer but was unable to convert and with Schauffele’s ball in closer to the hole for birdie, it looked to be the end of things.

His fellow American was also unable to find the cup though and with a taste of disappointment in the mouths of both players, the play-off was needed.

The relief on the face of Thomas was clear post-round and after criticising himself at the beginning of the week for not winning more tournaments, the win was a welcome one.

Sentry Tournament of Champions leaderboard

-14 Justin Thomas*, Patrick Reed, Xander Schauffele
-11 Patrick Cantlay
-10 Rickie Fowler, Joaquin Niemann
-9 Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa, Gary Woodland
-8 Jon Rahm

*Thomas won at the 3rd play-off hole.

Full leaderboard (external site)

Sentry Tournament of Champions report: What the winner said

Sentry Tournament of Champions report: Anything else?

The on-course mics caught the end of an interesting conversation involving Patrick Cantlay. We aren’t quite sure exactly what he’s talking about but it does provide some sort of insight. (Quick warning: He swears in this clip.)

Dustin Johnson was back in solo action for the first time since his lay-off with a knee injury and while there wasn’t much wrong with his golf, he clearly needed to get back into the swing of things with his spacial awareness…

Classic DJ.

Joe Hughes

Tour editor covering men's golf, women's golf and anything else that involves the word golf, really. The talk is far better than the game, but the work has begun to change that.

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