Justin Thomas finished at -14, earning $ 2.7 million for The Players Championship – the main event of the PGA Tour – on March 14.
This is a spectacular comeback of Thomas. Because after 27 holes, he is still outside the cutout line. When he got a ticket for the weekend, he broke up T3 at -10 thanks to 64 penultimate round strokes. And after 54 holes, the 1993 American golfer was three strokes less than Lee Westwood at the top of the table while fellow countryman Bryson DeChambeau came in second with -11.
With the championship yesterday – 14th in the PGA Tour, Thomas went second in the World Rankings (OWGR) and together with Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy became a quartet to win the prestigious group of The Players, major, the events of the World Golf Championship and FedEx Cup.
On the closing day at Stadium, par72 of TPC Sawgrass golf complex, Westwood and DeChambeau started the last leg from hole 1 and Thomas was one hole ahead. Finished the first half of the round, Thomas considered “break even” with par chain from the start, bogey hole 8 and birdie hole 9.
Meanwhile, Westwood and DeChambeau both failed to work in a four-par4, 382 yard long. At the top of this hole, Westwood hit the water trap and bogey at the end of the hole with a 2.4 meter putt. It is the second bogey through three holes. And DeChambeau uses a hybrid club, beveled the ball, so he only went 140 yards and got caught in the water.
“I don’t understand what’s wrong. I’ve never been like that,” DeChambeau told his own caddy.
After dropping the ball 237 yards away with a penalty stroke, DeChambeau used the No.5 iron but deflected the target by 40 yards and closed the double bogey hole.
After hole 4 negligence, DeChambeau beat. So was Westwood.
However, in the second half of the field, Thomas made a big break with a birdie-eagle-birdie from holes 10 to 12, with eagle at hole 11 with a pass within six meters.
The next five holes, he had two key pivots, both 15 meters away – the first to score a 16-hole birdie to the top of the board and the second to hold par 17 with the world-famous difficult oasis green. After the 16th hole, DeChambeau still competed because Thomas was two strokes behind. But it was the penultimate par-hole, Thomas knocked out opponents of the same age from the game.
Westwood left hole 14 with a birdie score and shared the top of the table with Thomas. But at the 16-par5 hole, the 47-year-old British golfer was at a disadvantage when he hit the big oak tree with the ball and then entered the sand trap. The former world number one who did not major again got sand in front of the green in the third. Then, he kept par by escaping 1.5 meters from the hole.
Into hole 17, Westwood emitted green, but a putt to find a birdie 14 meters away surpassed the crater 2.1 meters. At this distance you have to add two more putts to get it done – bogey.
Thomas has a sewing part in hole 18, when the kick goes from right to left, hits the rough grass near the lake and rolls into the fairway:
It’s 125 yards away, but he’s only up close to the green – the first time since the game, nearly eight meters from the hole. From that position, Thomas kept par after two putts.
“I work hard today. In terms of handling efficiency from teeing ground to green, this is probably one of the best games of my life,” Thomas shared on Golf Channel. On the finish line, he averaged 298.7 yards, hit 12 fairways and went green according to the standard of 17 holes.
Westwood closed the round with a birdie and finished second at -13, earning $ 1,635 million.
DeChambeau returned to T3 (point -12) with Brian Harman, each receiving $ 885,000.
The top 20 finally recorded two Asian representatives including Kim Si Woo standing at T9 and Im Sung-jae at T17.
In golf, The Players are rated as “unofficial major” by professionals, alongside the traditional quartet of Masters, PGA Championship, US Open and The Open Championship.
Quoc Huy synthetic
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