JT Prevails in Playoff at Sentry Tournament of Champions PDF Print E-mail


Justin Thomas celebrates after winning at the Sentry Tournament of Champion.

Maui - In such a short period of time, Justin Thomas has solidified his

place in the upper echelon of the game, but all of that meant nothing

as he unraveled on the 72nd hole on Kapalua's Plantation course. Holding

a one shot lead from the fairway, JT pull hooked his fairway wood approach

into the tall native grasses that run the entire length along the left side of

the home hole. It was the type of shot you'd expect to see from a high

handicapper in the Wednesday Pro-Am. For the number 4 ranked player

on earth it was about as egregious a mental lapse since a certain Frenchman

coughed up the Claret Jug. After all, there's about a 100 yard wide fairway

and ample safety zone all the way down the right side. Why not lay up with

an iron while holding the lead?


Miraculously, minutes later Thomas was granted a mulligan when challenger

Xander Schauffele (one shot back and grouped with Thomas) now only needing

a routine two putt to defend his title, three jacked his eagle attempt. Both Thomas

and Schauffele finished tied at the end of regulation. Sitting inside the clubhouse

observing the carnage unfold was Patrick Reed, who an hour earlier made a

lengthy putt on the last to reach 14 under par, as it turned out that putt was

enough to reach extra holes. The three man playoff began on 18. Schauffele

once again three putted, while JT and Xander made birdie - moving on. On

the second playoff hole Thomas wedged his third to close range while Reed

left himself 12 feet for his birdie. Reed missed, JT poured his in the heart -

overcoming the earlier gaffe. Afterwards the 12 time PGA Tour winner felt

fortunate, "The emotions and how I was winning and then I was barely winning

and then I barely got in a playoff - that takes a lot out of you," Thomas said. "I

probably don't seem as elated as I might be or as I would hope to be."


The win put Thomas in elite company historically, he joins Tiger Woods, Jack

Nicklaus as the only players to notch 12 or more PGA Tour wins before age 27

since 1960.



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