Thomas hangs on to win TOC over Matsuyama


What seemed like an easy stroll to victory quickly became anything but for Justin Thomas at the SBS Tournament of Champions. But here's how things ended up at Kapalua, where Thomas held on for his third career victory:

Leaderboard: Justin Thomas (-22), Hideki Matsuyama (-19), Jordan Spieth (-16), Pat Perez (-16), Ryan Moore (-16)

What it means: Thomas started the day in the lead, and his advantage ballooned to five shots through 13 holes. But after a sloppy double bogey on No. 15, he led Matsuyama by only a shot before a pivotal, two-shot swing on No. 17. As a result, it's another win for the promising young talent - and his first PGA Tour victory outside of Malaysia. Thomas also remains the only player to have beaten Matsuyama in a Tour event since November.

Round of the day: Spieth didn't have a realistic chance to defend his title after an opening-round 72, but he still made up plenty of ground with an 8-under 65 in Sunday's finale. Spieth's bogey-free performance included four straight birdies on Nos. 12-15 and after a T-3 finish, he now has three top-3 finishes at Kapalua in as many appearances.

Best of the rest: Perez was one of the last qualifiers in this week's field, winning the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in November, but he made the most of his appearance with a 6-under 67 in the final round. Perez made four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 5-9 and closed with a birdie on No. 15 to draw even with Spieth at 16 under.

Biggest disappointment: This honor nearly went to Thomas after he imploded in the middle of the 15th fairway, but Matsuyama let a pair of chances slip away down the stretch. First he left a birdie putt on No. 16 that would have tied the lead hanging on the edge, then a short miss on the next hole allowed Thomas to stretch the lead from one shot to three. Still, it's hard to be too disappointed when second-place remains your worst result in six worldwide starts.

Shot of the day: Thomas was still reeling a bit when he struck his approach to No. 17, but the shot was on target the whole way and nestled within 4 feet of the hole. The subsequent birdie essentially put the trophy on ice.

Quote of the day: "It's a great feeling. Obviously I stumbled a little more than I would like to over a few of those holes, but I think it really shows where my game is at right now." - Thomas