Justin Thomas wins the SBS Tournament of Champions
Justin Thomas had a five-shot lead with five holes to play when he was caught in a battle with Hideki Matsuyama down the stretch in the SBS Tournament of Champions. Thomas responded with a defining shot in his young career, an 8-iron approach he ripped from 214 yards to 3 feet on the 17th.
Matsuyama, one shot behind and needing birdie to stay in the game, ran his 30-foot putt about 8 feet by the hole and three-putted for bogey. Thomas knocked in his short putt for a three-shot lead, and he went on to another birdie for a 4-under 69 and a three-shot victory.
Thomas won for the second time this season, and third time in his career. His other two PGA TOUR titles were at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.
Matsuyama holed a tough flop shot on the 14th for eagle, and then Thomas hooked a 4-iron into the hazard on the par-5 15th and made double bogey. Matsuyama had a chance to tie him until narrowly missing a 10-foot birdie on the 16th. The 24-year-old from Japan closed with a 70.
Thomas is the only player to beat Matsuyama over the last three months. In his last six tournaments worldwide, Matsuyama had four victories and a pair of runner-up finishes -- both to Thomas, in Kuala Lumpur and Kapalua.
Thomas, who finished at 22-under 270, is the first multiple winner on the PGA TOUR in a season that began last October. He moves to No. 12 in the world, a big victory that squarely moves him into the conversation of a growing list of young stars in golf.
All he could think about was next year.
"It changes things going forward because I know I'm coming back here," Thomas said about the winners-only event along the rugged coast of Maui.
Tiger Woods has fourth back surgery
Charley Hoffman looking to rebound
Jimmy Walker diagnosed with Lyme disease
Shenzhen International: Bernd Wiesberger wins in a playoff
Valero Texas Open: Kevin Chappell claims first PGA Tour title
Latest Official World Golf Ranking
Current European Tour Race to Dubai Standings
Current PGA Tour FedEx Cup Standings
Lexi’s ‘Mistake’ May Fast-Track Change
Fumbling Toward Equality
Wie’s Game Back In The Spotlight
Ko, New Coach Look To ‘Swing Her Swing’
A Competitor Strives For Contentment
America Reigns In Bahamas
LPGA Players Grateful For Time Off
Ko Won’t Traffic In Teen Drama
Jutanugarn Comes Of Age
Iceland’s Kristinsdóttir Heats Up in Abu Dhabi
Irishman Dunne Makes Promising Progress
Harbour Town Elicits Timeless Golf Chops
Striking Balance Begets Ryu’s Success
Ping launches iBlade irons
TaylorMade Golf M2 Irons
New SM6 Vokey Design Wedges
Titleist launch new Scotty Cameron Select putters
Titleist launch DT TruSoft golf ball
New 2016 NXT Tour, NXT Tour S and Velocity golf balls from Titleist
adidas Golf launch Tour360 Boost
SuperStroke introduces new Pistol GT putter grip
Do you struggle to take your ‘range game’ onto the golf course?