x

Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Three and breezy as Justin Thomas wins drama-filled CJ Cup

American holed a two-foot birdie putt at the second sudden-death play-off hole Sunday to beat Marc Leishman and win a US PGA Tour title in Asia for the third time

Justin Thomas of the United States watches his shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the CJ Cup golf tournament at Nine Bridges on Jeju Island, South Korea. Park Ji-ho / AP Photo
Justin Thomas of the United States watches his shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the CJ Cup golf tournament at Nine Bridges on Jeju Island, South Korea. Park Ji-ho / AP Photo

Justin Thomas holed a two-foot birdie putt at the second sudden-death play-off hole Sunday to beat Marc Leishman and win a US PGA Tour title in Asia for the third time.

The pair had finished 72 holes at the CJ Cup in South Korea locked at nine-under par, after both missed eagle putts on the 18th hole of a windswept final round of wildly fluctuating fortunes.

Both parred the 18th on their first play-off visit, though Leishman was fortunate to get away with an errant drive and benefit from two free drops: first from behind a wall and then from a service road.

But the burly Australian's luck ran out second time round as his three wood approach carved off on the swirling winds into the water surrounding the island green.

________________________________________

________________________________________

American Thomas then ripped his three wood unerringly to the front fringe of the putting surface and ran a putt to two feet from the flag.

It proved enough as Leishman took a bogey six and Thomas tapped in for the birdie to seal the US$1.665 million (Dh5.8m) winner's cheque.

The supremely consistent 23-year-old American will advance to world No 3 with the win.

It was his sixth victory of a breakout year since winning the CIMB Classic in Malaysia for the second time exactly 12 months ago.