Just a few weeks after winning the FedEx Cup and the PGA Player of the Year title, Justin Thomas has continued his strong winning year by taking home the first ever CJ Cup title. Thomas went through a two-hole playoff to win the title in South Korea on a course that had been relatively challenging for many people who were contending.
Thomas scored a 279 or -9 for the event although he was among the few that were able to get relatively low below the par.
The event was held at the Nine Bridges course at Jeju Island. The event was not only one of the newest in the PGA Tour but also one of the more valuable ones to start the season as it had a purse of $9.25 million.
Thomas was tied with Scott Brown for the lead at the start of the day. Brown had a double bogey on the third hole and struggled to keep up. Thomas tried to win in regulation but a bogey on the seventeenth hole led him to a playoff with Marc Leishman.
Leishman had three bogeys during the front nine on the final day but had three birdies to get through that round and move into the playoff.
The playoff lasted for only two holes. Thomas had a birdie on the second hold while Leishman found the water. Leishman attempted to get onto the green on a par-5 hole in just two strokes but was unsuccessful in his attempt as his shot went out into the water.
The victory for Justin Thomas marks his fifth PGA Tour victory of the year. Among those victories include his PGA Championship title.
Thomas’ win also came as a major recovery from a 74 he scored in the second round. He did have a 63 during the first round on the par-72 course.
His 63 round at the beginning was the best round during the entire event. This was punctuated by two eagles during that round. These include one on the eighteenth hole, the main hole used during the playoff a few days later.
Thomas won $1.66 million for his victory while Leishman earned $999,999. Thomas also gets 500 FedEx Cup points while Leishman has 300.
Scott Brown had a 76 on the final day of competition to fall four strokes back of Justin Thomas. He finished in a tie for fifth place.
Cameron Smith finished in third with a 280. He had two birdies in the back nine on the final day but was unable to get enough momentum to climb forward and get into a three-way playoff.
Whee Kim had the best score of the sixteen Korean golfers who competed in this event on Jeju Island. Kim finished in fourth with a 282. A double bogey on the tenth hole during the fourth round kept him from climbing up further on the charts.
The Nine Bridges course was difficult as only 24 golfers could finish under par for the entire event. Close to twenty golfers had a score of 300 or greater for the event in South Korea.