Justin Thomas wins Tournament of Champions ahead of Hideki Matsuyama
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 09/01/17 12:09pm
Justin Thomas survived a final-round tussle with Hideki Matsuyama to claim a three-shot victory at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
Thomas saw his five-shot advantage cut to one in the space of two holes along the back nine, but the American recovered to close a four-under 69 and secure a third PGA Tour title.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth fired a round-of-the-day 65 to take a share of third spot with Pat Perez and Ryan Moore. American duo Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson finished part of the group a further stroke adrift.
Beginning the day two strokes back, Matsuyama lost ground with a three-putt bogey at the first but bounced back to drain a 20-footer at the third to match Thomas' birdie.
Matsuyama failed to save par from eight feet at the fourth and exchanged gains with Thomas at the next, before William McGirt found three birdies in a four-hole stretch from the fifth to move within two of the lead.
Thomas posted a 25-foot birdie at the eighth and recovered from a wayward tee shot at the ninth to save par and reach the turn three clear, before seeing his advantage increase to five when McGirt made a four-putt double-bogey at the 10th.
A first blemish from Thomas at the 10th was immediately cancelled out by a stunning tee-shot and tap-in at the next, as McGirt slipped out of contention at the 12th by going out of bounds on his way to another double-bogey.
Thomas restored a five-shot cushion with a 10-foot gain at the 13th, only to see his lead cut to three when Matsuyama holed out from the rough for an eagle-two at the 14th.
The pair moved even closer together when Thomas sent his approach out of bounds at the 15th on his way to a double-bogey, as Matsuyama carded a two-putt par to get within one.
Thomas capitalised on a three-putt bogey from Matsuyama to knock in a close-range gain at the 17th before the pair both finished with two-putt birdies at the last.
Spieth produced a run of four straight gains from the 12th before finishing with a final-hole birdie, with Perez also posting a bogey-free card to end in the share of third.
World No 1 Jason Day eagled the last to close a second successive 70 and end the week tied 12th, with Scotland's Russell Knox a further two strokes back in a share of 17th.