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Fast start, strong finish fuel Thomas to 66

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Justin Thomas will take the result, even if only the opening and closing acts were up to his standard.

Thomas got off to a fast start, with birdies on three of his first four holes to open the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, and he closed with four birdies over his final five holes. While the stretch in between was a bit of a struggle, he remained pleased with a 6-under 66 that left him in a tie for sixth, three shots behind Bronson Burgoon.

"I got off to a good start and then kind of stalled out a little bit there in the middle," Thomas told reporters. "I just didn't take advantage of a couple opportunities and let a couple go, but kind of found something there those last five holes and was able to at least make a good round of it today."

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Thomas' offseason lasted all of a week, as he took last week off following a standout performance at the Ryder Cup, albeit in defeat. He has turned TPC Kuala Lumpur into a personal feasting ground since earning his first PGA Tour victory here back in 2015, having successfully defended his title a year later and having finished T-17 last year in search of a three-peat.

All told, he has averaged 67 shots per round in Malaysia over the last three years and improved on that average with his opening effort that included eight birdies.

"A round like today is what could end up winning me this golf tournament," Thomas said. "(Having) pretty far from my best stuff and getting around here in 6 under is huge."