Justin Thomas Secures Fifth Victory of Incredible Season
If you had been asked to come up with a script for the FedEx Cup Playoffs you would struggle to come up with a better one than that which is unfolding on the PGA Tour.
Justin Thomas won the Dell Technologies Championship, the second of four tournaments that decide the FedEx champion. He beat Jordan Spieth, who finished runner-up for the second successive week, to claim his fifth victory of an astonishing year.
Thomas remained patient when he lost the lead to Spieth and then Marc Leishman, of Australia, firing a closing round of 66 to win by three strokes. Having begun the year ranked 34th in the world, he is now fourth and a certainty to be named player of the year “I have two events left. I have two more opportunities to win," Thomas said. "And I'd love to make it six or seven wins.”
Thomas made only two bogeys all week, the last one putting him in a three-way tie with seven holes to play. He won on the back nine at TPC Boston with a sand wedge gouged out of the rough to six feet at the 13th, a gap wedge to four feet at the 15th.
Spieth had started birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie -but he couldn't keep it going, dropping a shot at the 14th and another at the last when he needed an eagle to tie.
Spieth was runner-up for the second straight week in the FedExCup Playoffs. He lost a three-shot lead to Dustin Johnson on Long Island. “I came out firing, like I said we had to do," Spieth said. "Eight through 14 is the meat of the golf course. You want to get through even. I got through over par and didn't get any coming in when I hit some good putts.”
Spieth still moved to the top of the FedExCup standings with one more event before the $10m prize is decided at the Tour Championship at East Lake.
Leishman shot 30 on the front to build a two-shot lead but he had to save bogey at the 10th after an errant drive. He three-putted from long range for bogey on the 11th. He found a bunker on the 12th for a third straight bogey. And then he closed with two bogeys. Leishman shot 70.
Johnson started the final round three shots behind but was never in contention. He took two to get out of a fairway bunker and made bogey on the par-5 second hole, and he closed with a 73 to finish 10 behind.
Phil Mickelson birdied three of his opening four holes. He couldn't keep pace. Neither could Jon Rahm or Paul Casey.
Thomas, Spieth and Leishman were tied for the lead with seven holes to play. But then it all changed when Spieth missed the green at No. 14, did well to hit a flop shot to 15 feet and narrowly missed his par putt.
It was the first time Spieth has finished runner-up to Thomas, his best friend in golf since they were teenagers.
He only has eyes for you ...— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 5, 2017
... until the next one. ???????? pic.twitter.com/YUMU5Malw6
Kevin Chappell bogeyed his last hole and still managed to nudge Charley Hoffman by a fraction of a point to earn the 10th and final automatic spot on the U.S. team for the Presidents Cup.
Stewart Cink closed with a 68 to finish 12th, more than enough for him to advance to the third FedExCup Playoff event outside Chicago for the first time in seven years. Emiliano Grillo and Rafa Cabrera Bello also moved into the top 70 to advance to the BMW Championship.
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