Thomas gets first PGA Tour win

Justin Thomas claimed his first PGA Tour victory, recovering from potential disaster with three late birdies to earn a one-stroke victory over Adam Scott of Australia in the CIMB Classic at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The 22-year-old Thomas hit his approach shot into the water on the 14th hole and made a double bogey 6 to fall out of the lead, but then birdied the next three holes and closed with a five-foot par putt to shoot 6-under-par 66.

“The thing I told myself is (that) I really didn’t (hit into the water) because I was nervous,” said Thomas, who set a tournament record with a score of 26-under 262. “I felt like I’ve been struggling off those downhill lies and that’s what I’ve been doing, I have been chunking. Unfortunately, I had a big body of water in front of the green.
“But I just kept telling myself I controlled the tournament before that shot, so I just need to get back in it. I had four more holes to try to make some more birdies and was fortunate enough to do it.”

Thomas became the fourth consecutive player 23 or younger to win on the PGA Tour. Jordan Spieth, 22, captured the Tour Championship, Emiliano Grillo of Argentina, 23, claimed the Open and Smylie Kaufman, 22, took the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Scott, getting the feel with the short putter after dumping his anchored model, finished with a bogey-free 63, coming up short when he missed a 20-foot eagle putt on the final hole and had to settle for a birdie.

Kevin Na of Diamond Bar, who was second in the first two events of the new season, posted a 67 to finish two shots back in a tie for third with Brendan Steele of Idyllwild and UC Riverside, who had a 68.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan carded a 67 and was four strokes behind in solo fifth, followed another shot back  by James Hahn of Alameda and Cal, who came in at 68.

Scott Piercy of Las Vegas and San Diego State, the first round leader at 62, recorded a third straight 69 and was seven shots down in a tie for seventh with Brian Harman, who wound up at 70.

Two-time defending champion Ryan Moore of Las Vegas and UNLV shot 69 and was nine strokes back in a tie for 10th.

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