Golf roundup: Justin Thomas delivers clutch moments to win Honda in playoff
Justin Thomas nearly holed a wedge that got him into a playoff, and then hit 5-wood over the water and onto the 18th green for a two-putt birdie to beat Luke List on the first extra hole Sunday to win the Honda Classic.
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.
Thomas and List matched birdies and tough pars over the final eight holes, and List appeared to have a big advantage on the par-5 18th when he hit a big drive that left him a 4-iron he hit onto the back of the green. Thomas was in the left rough and had to lay up instead of taking on the water.
He hit a wedge from 117 yards that landed a few feet in front of the hole and rolled some 6 inches to the side of the cup, settling 2 feet away.
List, going for his first PGA Tour victory, blinked first in the playoff by missing his drive well to the right amid palm trees. He blasted that out left and against the grandstand, and then he watched Thomas take on the water and hit the green in two.
Thomas rapped in a 4-footer for is birdie and the eighth win of his career. It moves him to No. 3 in the world, one spot ahead of longtime friend Jordan Spieth for the first time in their careers.
Alex Noren was tied for the lead playing the 18th and caught an awkward lie from the side of a bunker. He made par for a 67 and finished one shot behind.
Thomas and List finished at 8-under 272. It was the seventh playoff in 15 PGA Tour events this season.
Tiger Woods was briefly within three shots of the lead on the front nine. He closed with a 70 and finished 12th. He led the field in proximity to the hole on his approach shots at just over 29 feet.
LPGA Thailand: Jessica Korda closed with a 4-under 67 to complete a four-shot victory and set the tournament record in the Honda LPGA Thailand.
Korda held off Lexi Thompson and Moriya Jutanugarn on Sunday to finish at 25-under 263, breaking by three shots the 72-hole record on the Pattaya Old Course at Siam Country Club.
Korda won for the first time since 2015 in Malaysia. The victory comes two months after she had surgery on an overbite, which delayed the start of her season.
“I just came with no expectations after surgery. It’s really hard for me to move. All this stuff is just still really hard, but I’m really, really happy that I chose to come back in this event exactly where I started my rookie year in 2011. I don’t think I could have asked for a better win,” she said.
Thompson, who won here in 2016, turned in a bogey-free round that included eight birdies for a 64.
Jutanugarn, the sister of former world No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn, never got closer than two shots of the lead.
Qatar Masters: Eddie Pepperell survived a tense finish to close with a 2-under 70 and win the Qatar Masters for his first European Tour title.
The 27-year-old Englishman held off a spirited challenge from Oliver Fisher at Doha Golf Club. Fisher (71) needed a third successive birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff, but had his putt from 6 feet slip past the hole.
Pepperell finished at 18-under 270.
Other tours: Ben Campbell, a runner-up at Manawatu Golf Club last year, closed with a 2-under 69 for a two-shot victory in the Horizon golf NZ PGA Championship on the PGA Tour of Australasia. It was his first professional victory. Deyen Lawson and Ashley Hall tied for second. Rhys Enoch overcame a bogey-bogey start to close with a 3-under 69 for a one-shot victory over Peter Karmis in the Cape Town Open on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa. Celine Boutier of France won the inaugural Australian Ladies Classic Bonville with a 1-over 73 for a two-shot victory over Katie Burnett on the Ladies European Tour.
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