Thomas delivers Hawaiian punch in record fashion

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LOS ANGELES: Justin Thomas made more history on Sunday (Monday in Manila) at the Sony Open, firing a five-under 65 to set the PGA Tour’s lowest 72-hole score at 253.

Thomas sank a one-foot birdie putt on the par-five 18th at the Waialae Country Club course where his 27-under 253 is the lowest four round score of all-time.

“It has been an unbelievable week. Unforgettable,” Thomas said.

Thomas started his round with a seven-shot lead and cruised to victory, finishing seven strokes ahead of runnerup Justin Rose of Britain.


The 23-year-old American is off to one of the best starts in PGA Tour history.

Justin Thomas of the United States putts during the final round of the Sony Open In Hawaii at Waialae Country Club on Monday in Honolulu, Hawaii. AFP PHOTO

He has won three of his last four tournaments. That includes a sweep of the Tour’s Hawaii swing as he becomes the first golfer since Ernie Els in 2003 to win the Tournament of Champions and Honolulu’s Sony Open back-to-back.

Olympic gold medallist Rose closed with a six-under 64 Sunday to reach a 20-under 260 total. Former world number one Jordan Spieth finished in solo third with a final round 63 to finish at 19-under, eight shots back of Thomas.Kevin Kisner and Jamie Lovemark both shot 65 and tied for fourth at 18-under.

Thomas’ epic performance this week started and ended with him making history in Hawaii.

He became the youngest on the Tour to shoot a 59 in the first round, shot 64 to set the 36-hole record in Friday’s second round, continued with a 65 to tie the 54-hole record on Saturday and set the 72-hole mark on Sunday.

Tommy Armour held the previous 72-hole record with a 254 at the 2003 Texas Open.

“It is pretty unbelievable what JT is doing now,” said Spieth. “He is showing the world what he is capable of.”

Thomas said he was aware of the record.

“I told (caddie) with two holes left, ‘we need to get one of these last two.’”

In addition to claiming his first PGA Tour victory in the 2015 CIMB Classic, he posted six other top-10 finishes last season, winding up third four times — in the Frys.com Open, the Honda Classic, the Players Championship and the Travelers Championship.

Thomas also was sixth in the Tour Championship and is finally feeling the satisfaction of turning those previous close calls into victories this season.

“I didn’t do a lot this off season,” Thomas said. “I wanted to get away from the game. But the time I did spend working I worked hard and I was trying to work on my negatives so weeks like this were more in reach.”

Thomas had a birdie burst around the turn as he rolled in four starting at the par-four eighth hole. His only blemish of the day came at the par-three fourth where he made bogey.

“The last 10-hole stretch I was very comfortable I just tried to stay patient,” he said.

AFP

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