Justin Thomas celebrates his win at the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua
Kapalua, Hawaii - There 's only one player in the world who's been
able to beat Hideki Matsuyama since the new season has begun, and
that's Justin Thomas, and now he's done it twice after taking the SBS
Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. It wasn't all smooth sailing for
Thomas on Sunday, after making bogey at the tenth, he bounced back
with birdies at the eleventh & thirteenth. Then he hit what he called "a
chunked hook" approach into the hazard on the par 5 - fifteenth hole
(making double). That's when it became interesting, because Matsuyama
had just holed a flop shot from the greenside rough for eagle at the short
par 4 fourteenth.
Just as Thomas was reeling, he regrouped and slammed the door on the
hottest player in the game at the seventeenth when he stuffed his 214
yard approah to 3 feet. Matsuyama then 3 putted before the 23 year old
from Louisville tapped in his birdie. Once again the lead was three and
Thomas walked to the last knowing that he had just about sealed the deal.
When both players birdied the home hole, Thomas had a three stroke victory
finishing at 22 under par.
The victory was Thomas' first on American soil (his past two wins were
at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia). Thomas is the first multiple winner of the
2016 -17 wraparound season.
Thomas is already turning the page, looking forward to playing next week
at the Sony Open at Waialae, "I'm going to regroup and focus on next week,
because next week is a course that I really like and I feel like it's another
good opportunity for me to be in the hunt and have a chance to win."
Defending Champion Jordan Spieth shot a bogey free 65 on Sunday to
finish at six back at -16 (tied with Ryan Moore and Pat Perez for third).