Thomas caps hot streak with Dell title

American Justin Thomas with the Dell Technologies Championship trophy on Monday. The PGA Championship winner sealed his fifth PGA Tour victory this season and will go into the penultimate FedExCup play-off tournament, the BMW Championship, in good fo
American Justin Thomas with the Dell Technologies Championship trophy on Monday. The PGA Championship winner sealed his fifth PGA Tour victory this season and will go into the penultimate FedExCup play-off tournament, the BMW Championship, in good form.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NORTON (Massachusetts) • Justin Thomas rode a couple of lucky breaks to become the first five-time champion on the PGA Tour this season when he won the Dell Technologies Championship in Massachusetts on Monday.

The American emerged from a three-way tussle to beat compatriot Jordan Spieth by three strokes at TPC Boston in Norton, with Australian Marc Leishman another shot back in third place.

Thomas carded 66 to finish at 17-under 267, while Spieth bogeyed the par-five 18th hole to shoot 67.

Leishman, who led by two shots with nine holes left, faded with a 70, going out in 30 and coming home in 40.

The Australian bogeyed the last hole, which allowed Spieth to take the lead in the FedExCup standings, narrowly ahead of Thomas with two tournaments left in the four-event play-off series.

Thomas said it was the first time he had won without having his "best stuff" and downplayed any notion that his victory would reverberate around the Tour. "I wasn't trying to send a statement," he told the Golf Channel. "I was just trying to win a golf tournament."

The 24-year-old clinched his first Major title at the PGA Championship last month, coming from behind over the final nine holes. He followed a similar route to victory on Monday, this time with some help.

He struck a tree with his tee shot at the par-four 10th hole, but had an unobstructed view of the green with his second shot and made an easy par.

Later, after a poor tee shot at the par-three 16th hole, he received a free drop from a poor lie in heavy rough because a sprinkler head interfered with his stance.

He was able to place his ball in a much better lie, and got up and down to save par. That proved to be his last nervous moment.

British Open champion Spieth licked his wounds after a second consecutive runner-up finish. He lost to Dustin Johnson last week at the Northern Trust Open in the first play-off event.

Spieth, three months younger than Thomas, observed that his good friend and rival had taken a couple of years longer to start fulfilling his talent.

"Jealous isn't the word but he probably had some feelings of anxiousness," said Spieth, who won two Majors in 2015.

"I feel like we're very similar calibre of players and I just got a head start. Obviously he's become a tremendous closer. It's tough when you've got somebody that's that good and hot, and starts the day two shots in front of you."

After a one-week break in the schedule, the top-70 players in the standings will contest the penultimate event of the season, the BMW Championship in Chicago.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2017, with the headline 'Thomas caps hot streak with Dell title'. Print Edition | Subscribe