Advertisement
Share

Justin Thomas holds off Brooks Koepka to win WGC in Memphis

×

Justin Thomas highlights from final round of FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

Justin Thomas won the FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Sunday to take the No. 1 spot in the world for the first time since June 2018.

Thomas dueled defending champion Brooks Koepka down the final holes, sealing the World Golf Championship victory on the par-5 16th. Thomas took the lead for good with his second straight birdie, while Koepka bogeyed the hole.

Koepka pulled within a stroke with a 39-footer for birdie on No. 17. But Koepka put his tee shot into the water along the 18th fairway on his way to double bogey, allowing Thomas to finish up an easy par putt for what wound up a three-stroke victory.

Thomas closed with a 5-under 66 to finish at 13-under 267 and take the $10.5 million winner’s check for his 13th PGA Tour title. At 27, he became the third-youngest player since 1960 to reach 13 PGA Tour wins, trailing only Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.

Advertisement

This was the fifth time Thomas rallied to win, and he matched his biggest comeback after starting the day four strokes back of third-round leader Brendon Todd. Thomas has three wins this season, two since the start of the year.

The last time Thomas was No. 1, he spent four weeks at the top of the ranking. He will supplant Jon Rahm, who became No. 1 after winning at Memorial two weeks ago.

Koepka will go to TPC Harding Park in San Francisco looking to defend his PGA championship title. He finished with a 69 and tied for second with Phil Mickelson (67), Daniel Berger (65) and Tom Lewis (66).

Thomas had Jim “Bones” Mackay on his bag, playing in the same group with Mickelson for the first time since Mickelson split with his longtime caddie. Mackay was a late fill-in for Thomas’ usual caddie, Jimmy Johnson.

LPGA Tour

TOLEDO, Ohio — Danielle Kang played the brand of steady golf that wins on tough golf courses, closing with a 2-under 70 at Inverness Club and winning the LPGA Drive On Championship in the first LPGA Tour event in more than five months.

Kang and Celine Boutier of France turned the final hour into a terrific duel, and they were tied when Kang made her lone bogey on the par-5 13th with a poor chip from the thick collar.

It was Boutier who blinked last. She missed a short par putt on the 15th hole to fall one shot behind, and then stuffed her approach to 4 feet below the hole on the 18th. Instead of a playoff, however, Boutier made a tentative stroke on a tricky putt and the ball caught the left edge of the cup and spun away.

Advertisement

Kang, the No. 4 player in the women’s world ranking, won for the fourth time in her career. It was her first LPGA competitoin since Jan. 23 in Florida. She did not go to Australia, and then the COVID-19 pandemic halted play on the Asian swing and then on through the summer.

Boutier, who won the Women’s Texas Open during her time off, made an 8-foot birdie putt on the 14th to tie Kang before she started to slip. Boutier closed with a 71.

Inverness hosted the one-time event, and both contenders are likely to be back next summer when the storied club hosts the Solheim Cup. The LPGA Tour stays in northeast Ohio next week for the Marathon Classic.

Kang finished at 7-under 209.

Advertisement

Minjee Lee of Australia shot a 70 to finished third, three shots behind.


Advertisement