Golf: Justin Thomas wins Honda Classic in play-off, Tiger Woods is 12th and getting better

Justin Thomas celebrates winning The Honda Classic in a playoff over Luke List at the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Garden on Feb 25, 2018.
Justin Thomas celebrates winning The Honda Classic in a playoff over Luke List at the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Garden on Feb 25, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida (REUTERS) - Justin Thomas clinched his eighth PGA Tour victory when he won the Honda Classic in a play-off against Luke List in Florida on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Thomas birdied the first extra hole, sinking a three-foot putt at the par-five 18th at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens.

Earlier, Thomas (68) and fellow American List (69) finished regulation at eight-under 272, one stroke ahead of Swede Alex Noren (67).

Former world No. 1 Tiger Woods (70) was eight strokes behind in 12th place and his expectations have "gone up".

Though a double-bogey at the 15th ended any outside chance of victory, he took confidence from his performance in just his third official start since undergoing a spinal fusion last April.

An apparently healthy Woods seems increasingly likely to head to April's Masters, the first Major of 2018, as a contender, rather than just one of the players invited back as a former champion.

"I feel like each time out I've gotten better and I've gotten more of a feel for playing tournament golf," the 42-year-old told reporters. "The last couple days, it felt easy to play tournament golf.

"The warm-up felt good. I get into the flow of the round. I could find the rhythm of the rounds faster. The more golf I'm playing tournament-wise, the faster I'm able to click into the feel of the round.

"I feel very happy the way I played the entire week."

Four weeks ago, the 14-time Major champion was equal 23rd in his official comeback at Torrey Pines, while he missed the cut the previous week at Riviera, where one bad round of 76 cost him. It is his only score of more than 72 in 10 rounds this year.