CJ Cup report: Justin Thomas shoots final round 67 to win for second time

Justin Thomas of the United States poses with his mother Jani and father Mike
Justin Thomas of the United States poses with his mother Jani and father Mike

Justin Thomas carded a final-round 67 to win the CJ Cup for the second time in three years in South Korea.

Leaderboard

-20 Justin Thomas

-18 Danny Lee

-15 Hideki Matsuyama, Cameron Smith, Gary Woodland

-13 Tyrell Hatton, An Byeong-hun

Day four report

Justin Thomas carded a final-round 67 to win the CJ Cup for the second time in three years in South Korea.

The American, champion at Nine Bridges two years ago, made seven birdies and two bogeys to move to 20 under and claim victory by two shots.

Thomas and Danny Lee shared the lead heading into the final day, but the world number five held off the South Korean-born New Zealander.

Thomas produced birdies at the first and third and, despite dropping a shot on the fourth, turned in 33 with back-to-back gains.

Two more birdies, on the 12th and 14th, put him in the outright lead before consecutive bogeys cost Lee.

Thomas bounced back from a bogey on the penultimate hole with a birdie on the last to secure his 11th PGA Tour title.

Lee finished second on 18 under, three shots in front of Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, last year's runner-up Gary Woodland and Cameron Smith of Australia.

Englishman Tyrrell Hatton was tied for sixth with Byeong Hun An, seven shots behind Thomas, while Jordan Spieth was 12 under with Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter a further two shots back.

Day three report

Justin Thomas hit a costly bogey on the 18th hole as Danny Lee grabbed a share of the lead heading into the final round of the CJ Cup in South Korea.

Thomas, the champion at Nine Bridges two years ago, had scored a nine-under par 63 on Friday to sit two shots clear.

After dropping a shot at the par-three second on Saturday, the American soon recovered with a 20-foot birdie and then picked up one more on the ninth to go into the turn at one under.

Another bogey at the short 13th was again quickly recovered, only for Thomas to then knock his approach into the par-five last into the water hazard and then find the rough at the back of the green.

Despite avoiding more than one dropped shot, it proved a costly error which allowed Korean-born New Zealander Lee to make up ground as he sunk a fine 60-feet eagle put.

Thomas signed for a two-under 70 while Lee - who had earlier made a double-bogey six at the 10th - recorded a 68.

Australian Cameron Smith sits in third place after he also went four under for the third round, despite needing a seven at the par-five ninth.

Americans Wyndham Clark and Jordan Spieth are tied in fourth at 11 under, with Byeong Hun An a shot back.

Collin Morikawa and Gary Woodland, last year's runner-up, were both big movers after their respective seven-under rounds.

The Americans are in a tie for seventh alongside England duo Ian Poulter and Tyrell Hatton as well as Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell.

Defending champion Brooks Koepka, meanwhile, had earlier withdrawn because of a knee problem.

Day two report

A nine-under-par round of 63 sent Justin Thomas to the top of the leaderboard at The CJ Cup in South Korea.

Thomas, the champion at Nine Bridges two years ago, had nine birdies, including four in the first four holes, and no dropped shots to move to 13 under after two rounds.

That left the American two shots ahead of first-round leader Byeong Hun An, who followed up a 64 with a 69.

"I played well," former world number one Thomas said. "I didn't do anything unbelievably. It just was a very stress-free day.

"Obviously playing well, that makes it stress free, but I just kind of kept the ball in play off the tee, hit some good irons.

"I think I hit every green and made a couple putts early. And then the back nine, I got a few close to the holes where those birdies came easier. So it just was a very easy 63 if you can somehow say that, but hopefully we'll be able to keep some of that going for the weekend."

Korean-born New Zealander Danny Lee is tied for second with An after a 66. It would have been one better but for a bogey at the par-five 18th.

American Jordan Spieth and Argentina's Emiliano Grillo are two shots further back in a tie for fourth. Spieth was one of the big movers of the day thanks to a 65.

England's Tyrell Hatton is in a tie for ninth place on seven under after shooting a 68 while a 73 dropped Australia's Jason Day from third to a tie for 18th.

Day one report

Korea's Byeong Hun An delighted the home crowd by carding an eight-under-par 64 to lead the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges on Jeju Island.

An fired eight birdies in a bogey-free round to lead Chile's Joaquin Niemann by a shot, with former world number one Jason Day a shot further back following a 66.

Defending champion Brooks Koepka is five shots off the pace after a 69 matched by the English pair of Ian Poulter and Tyrrell Hatton and Norway's Viktor Hovland, whose 18th consecutive round in the 60s established a new PGA Tour record.

Koepka's erratic round included four birdies, three bogeys and an eagle on the par-five 18th and the world number one said: "Just needed to clean up a few things, missed a couple of short putts, a little sloppy there, but other than that I thought I hit the ball good.

"The wind was just so light today it felt like it was switching quite a bit and it made a difference on a couple of holes.

"Honestly I think this golf course is a little bit easier if it blows. If it blows a little bit the wind is a little bit more consistent."

Day, who is hoping International Team captain Ernie Els will give him a wild card for December's Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, boosted his chances by carding six birdies in a bogey-free 66.

"It is certainly disappointing not to make the team on my own merits, but it is a reminder that nothing is given to you in this game," the Australian said.

"I certainly want to be on the team and believe I can be an asset to the Internationals. Being in my home country certainly gives me an edge and I've had some success on the sandbelt (courses) and Royal Melbourne in the past."

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