Justin Thomas reclaimed the world primary rating on Sunday by getting the higher of defending champion Brooks Koepka down the stretch to win the WGC St Jude Invitational by three strokes. Justin Thomas, who started the day 4 pictures off the lead, fired a five-under par 65 last spherical to thwart Koepka’s repeat bid and take the title at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee, on a 72-hole complete of 13-under 267. “It means a lot, especially with how I felt like I did it,” Thomas mentioned. “In the past, I struggled with coming from behind. I got wrapped up in how far I was behind and how many people.”
The 27-year-old American grew to become the third-youngest US PGA Tour participant previously 60 years to succeed in 13 profession wins, behind Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus and simply forward of Rory McIlroy.
Koepka, who seeks a 3rd consecutive PGA Championship victory subsequent week in San Francisco, closed with a double bogey after discovering water off the 18th tee and slid into sharing second on 270 with US compatriots Daniel Berger and Phil Mickelson and England’s Tom Lewis.
Thomas, the 2017 PGA Championship winner, jumped from third previous McIlroy and top-ranked Spaniard Jon Rahm to retake world primary, a spot he held for 4 weeks in 2018.
“It was a hard-fought day, but it meant a lot,” Thomas mentioned.
Three weeks in the past, Thomas squandered a three-stroke lead with three holes to play, two bogeys dropping him right into a playoff with Collin Morikawa that he misplaced.
“I feel like I learned a lot from that,” he mentioned. “I just didn’t get ahead of myself anytime those last two, three holes, where I felt like my mind was kind of wandering and maybe thinking about winning.
“I principally simply instructed myself to close up and determine what you are doing as a result of I might lose that event simply as simply as I received it.
“I was really proud of myself to stay in the moment and get it done,” he mentioned.
A back-nine shootout noticed Americans Koepka, Thomas, Berger and 54-hole chief Brendon Todd deadlocked with Lewis for the lead on 11-under, whereas Australian Jason Day, American Chez Reavie and England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick had been on 10-under.
Koepka sank a birdie putt from simply inside 10 ft on the par-4 13th to grab the lead at 12-under.
Thomas discovered the left tough at 15 however blasted his method to 6 ft and made the birdie putt to match Koepka for the lead.
Thomas then despatched his tee shot method proper on the par-5 16th, however recovered by blasting to the low tough simply left of the golf green and dropped his method three ft from the cup, tapping in a birdie to say the lead alone at 13-under.
“I got unbelievably lucky,” Thomas mentioned. “Somehow, that calmed me down. You usually only get lucky like that when you win the tournament.
“Luckily, I held on and stayed affected person and optimistic.”
Koepka scrambled on 16 but missed an eight-foot par putt to fall two adrift, only to sink a 40-foot birdie putt at the par-3 17th to move back within a stroke as he walked to the 18th tee.
But Koepka sent his tee shot into the water and put his third into a greenside bunker, sealing the victory for Thomas.
Mickelson matched a third-place effort at Pebble Beach for his finest results of the season, because the world’s prime golfers set their sights on TPC Harding Park and subsequent week’s first main event of a yr wherein COVID-19 has performed havoc with the schedule.
The British Open was known as off, the PGA was moved from May to subsequent week, the US Open shifted from June to September and the Masters moved from its conventional first main spot in April to November.
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