Justin Thomas won for the fifth time this season, adding a playoff title to his ever-impressive 2017 resume. Thomas captured the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston on Labor Day Monday and here’s how he did it:
Leaderboard: Thomas (-17), Jordan Spieth (-14), Marc Leishman (-13), Jon Rahm (-12), Paul Casey (-12), Phil Mickelson (-11), three others tied at 11 under.
What it means: Thomas isn’t officially a lock for Player of the Year, but Spieth may need to sweep the final two playoff events – and with them the overall FedExCup title – to deny him the Jack Nicklaus Trophy. Thomas now has a major championship, a playoff win, three other Tour victories, a 59, and a 63 in a major.
Round of the day: Thomas’ 5-under 66. Spieth played his first four holes on Monday in 5 under, but Thomas never wavered. While Spieth turned in 6-under 30, Thomas did so in 32, including an eagle-2 at the par-4 fourth. Both men trailed Leishman, but, as noted below, he would falter on the back nine. Spieth grabbed sole possession of the lead with a birdie at 13, but was quickly matched by Thomas on the same hole. Spieth would then bogey 14, while Thomas would birdie 15. Thomas had only two bogeys all week.
Best of the rest: Bill Haas and Rafa Cabrera Bello both shot the lowest score of the day, 6-under 65. But neither man was in contention, with Haas tying for 10th and Cabrera Bello tying for 18th. There were nine 66’s on Monday.
Biggest disappointment: Goes to a trio of players. While he finished in solo third place, Leishman was the outright leader by two, thanks to a front-nine 30, but played the back nine in 5-over 40. Paul Casey was one back to start the day and could only manage a 70 to remain winless on Tour since 2009. And Grayson Murray, bidding for Rookie of the Year honors, was two off the 54-hole pace and closed in 6-over 77 to tie for 25th.
Shot of the day: Thomas’ 138-yard approach shot to 4 feet at the par-4 15th, to go up 2 strokes, was nice.
But his par save at the 16th was huge. Faced with a difficult up and down from the right side of the green, Thomas pitched to 6 feet and made the putt. That allowed Thomas to keep his cushion and momentum down the stretch.
Quote of the day: "We’ve had a great year, and there are two more events to try to finish this off." - Thomas