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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Justin Thomas acknowledges the crowd after a putt Sunday at the Honda Classic. Thomas won in a playoff and moved to No. 3 in the world.

Monday, February 26, 2018 1:00 am


Thomas wins Honda in playoff

Associated Press

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Justin Thomas was down to his last chance when he delivered his most clutch shot of the final round in the Honda Classic.

Thomas nearly holed a gap wedge on the par-5 18th hole for a birdie to force a playoff with Luke List. Moments later, he hit 5-wood over the water, urged it to keep going and lost it momentarily in the darkening sky over PGA National.

“All I was looking at was the water to see if it splashed,” Thomas said. “And it didn't. So I figured I was in the bunker, and then people started clapping and I could kind of see some little white dot on the green.”

That set up a two-putt birdie that made him a winner when List, who hit his own bold shot in regulation to the 18th to set up birdie, manage only par in the playoff.

Thomas closed with a 2-under 68 and won for the second time this season. He also won in a playoff at the CJ Cup in South Korea last fall. With eight career victories, including seven in his last 31 starts on the PGA Tour, he moved to No. 3 in the world. He is one spot ahead of longtime friend Jordan Spieth for the first time, which was of little significance to Thomas.

“Not really,” he said. “Because there's still two more spots that I want to climb.”

List, going for his first PGA Tour victory, shot 32 on the back nine and closed with a 69.

“Obviously, it hurts right now,” List said. “But I think that when I look back on it, I'll be proud of the way I hung in there.”

Alex Noren (67) finished third.

Tiger Woods was briefly within three shots of the lead on the front nine. He closed with a 70 and finished 12th. 

LPGA: Chonburi, Thailand, Florida's Jessica Korda set a tournament record to win the LPGA Thailand at the Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course.

Korda held off Lexi Thompson and local hope Moriya Jutanugarn for a four-stroke win after a final-round 67 for an overall total of 25 under 263, smashing the previous mark of 22 under set by Amy Yang of South Korea in 2017.

EUROPEAN: In Doha, Qatar, Eddie Pepperell survived a tense finish to win the Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club for his maiden European Tour title.

The 27-year-old Englishman held off Oliver Fisher, who needed a third successive birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff, but had his putt from six feet slip past the hole for a par.

Pepperell shot a 2-under-par 70 for a 18-under 270 total, while Fisher, who started the day tied for the lead, could only manage a 71.