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Posted February 26, 2018 in "Watts" In The Bag by Trevor Cigich
By Sean Fairholm of Global Golf Post
Justin Thomas never had his best stuff on Sunday, but he grinded through the final round of the Honda Classic with the savvy of a player who knows how to win.
Starting the day one stroke behind 54-hole leader Luke List, with whom he was paired in the final round, Thomas clipped a beautiful wedge to kick-in distance on the par-5 third to quickly take the solo lead. However, the last round would prove to be a multi-horse race with the likes of List, Alex Norén, Tommy Fleetwood and Webb Simpson jockeying back and forth on the bitterly difficult Champion Course at PGA National.
Thomas received a fortuitous break when his tee shot on the par-3 fifth ricocheted off the stone wall fronting the green and ended about 10 feet from the hole. He didn’t make the putt, but it was the type of break a player sometimes needs to win.
After blocking his tee shot way right on the par-4 ninth, leading to a bogey, Thomas put together a much cleaner back nine. His birdie on the par-4 13th came at a critical juncture and he handled the Bear Trap (Nos. 15-17) with little drama.
The drama came at the final hole, where List and Thomas arrived tied. List reached the par-5 in two strokes and ultimately two-putted for birdie. Thomas, however, laid up after driving into the right rough and then hit a clutch wedge to 3 feet. His ensuing birdie forced the playoff.
In overtime, Thomas reached in two while List needed an outstanding third shot from the left rough just to have a realistic chance at birdie. He missed his putt, allowing Thomas to two-putt for the victory as the sun set.
“I was very calm and comfortable through 14 holes and that was the first time I had to play the Bear Trap with that much pressure, so it was pretty nerve-wracking,” Thomas said. “It just felt great to get it done.”
With the victory, the 24-year-old Kentuckian moved to No. 3 in the world marking the first time he’s moved past his close friend Jordan Spieth in the ranking. Thomas has won seven times in his past 31 Tour starts.
Driver: Titleist 917D2 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 60TX
3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 80TX
5 Wood: Titleist 915Fd (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2 Tour Spec X
Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T X5
Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Republished with permission from Global Golf Post.