Justin Thomas snatched a one-shot victory in the Players Championship
Justin Thomas showed superb performance in the middle of an almost flawless weekend dedicated to golf and won the prestigious Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
Thomas withdrew from the lead by seven shots after 36 holes and was still three behind Lee Westwood heading into the final round, but he continued with a 64 on Saturday with a 68 on Sunday to win his 14th PGA Tour title and first prize of £1.9 million.
In 14th place, Thomas won by one stroke over Westwood, who climbed to 18th. ahead of teammates Bryson DeCharbeu and Brian Harman with paul casey and Talor Gooch’s return shot.
With this victory, Thomas became the fourth player to win the World Golf Championship, major championship, world golf championship and Fedex Cup after Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy missed a shot defending the title.
“It’s a lot harder than when there were no fans here, that’s for sure,” Thomas said, holding back tears when asked about his grandfather’s recent death.
‘I’m so glad they’re back and I’m so happy to be a champion player. I fought so hard today, stayed patient, probably one of the best laps of my life on the green, (I had) complete control of the ball.
‘I’ve done a lot of good fights, I just haven’t won anything and I’ve been patient. Lately I’ve seen some pretty crazy things happen on this 9th TV, so I was happy to be on the best side of the year.
The former US PGA champion, whose sponsor Ralph Lauren dumped him after he used homophobic slurs in Hawaii in January, was one over par in his round after seven consecutive doubles in eighth place after three strokes.
But the 27-year-old picked up ninth and 10th, made an eagle with a 20-footer at 11-footer and 12th.
Thomas gave hope in the chase, scoring a 3-pointer in the 14th.
Westwood took advantage of watching the tie throw on the same hole, snatched the bunker off the fairway and stayed out of the water, a superb approach to a 8-foot shot, set up a birdie and gave him a share of the lead.
A two-stroke birdie on the par-five 15th pushed Thomas forward, and Westwood had to make a line on the same hole after his second putt hit a tree and fell into the fairway bunker.
DeChambeau didn’t give up the chase, and on the 16th, he was in the back of the 1990s.
Thomas’ heart was in his mouth when his shot off the tee on the 18th.
Westwood, who also led by 54 holes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week before finishing second behind DeChampeu, calmed down by scoring more valuable points in the race to claim a record 11th place. But the 47-year-old will be disappointed. His last 72, especially when he made three clear shots with a birdie on the first.
Westwood immediately responded to the shot as he tried to recover from the trees in the water on one side, and although the second shot was fired in the fourth after he struck the water from the goal, Westwood fired a considerable shot at DeChabeu, who beat him. Tee fired in second danger, and his third hit a terrible tibia.