Wednesday, 10 January 2018
Justin Thomas with the Wanamaker Trophy after his US PGA Championship win  (Getty Images)
Justin Thomas with the Wanamaker Trophy after his US PGA Championship win (Getty Images)

Justin Thomas won his first Major as a closing 68 handed him a two-shot victory at the US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club.

The final round of the year's closing Major did not catch fire until the back nine, but an almighty battle took place over the closing stages and Thomas held his nerve to get to eight under and prevail over Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen and Patrick Reed.

Thomas started the day two shots off the lead and dropped a shot on the first after finding sand three times, but bounced back with a 16-foot putt on the second before dropping another shot on the third.

The 24 year old took advantage of the par five seventh before holing a 36-footer on the ninth. His birdie putt on the tenth looked like it was not going to drop, but when it eventually fell into the hole the North Carolina crowd went wild and he was soon in a share of the lead with Matsuyama, Kisner and Chris Stroud.

Molinari made that a five-man group with a birdie on the 15th, but all the competition then dropped shots and when Thomas produced a stunning chip-in from the left of the green on the par three 13th, he had a two-shot lead.

Reed and Matsuyama both followed Molinari's lead with gains on the 15th to cut the gap to one, but a towering seven-iron into the 17th left Thomas with a 15-foot putt for a three-shot advantage over the clubhouse leaders.

He bogeyed the last after finding sand off the tee, but with Kisner and Stroud both faltering in the final group behind, victory was assured.

"I know that a Major champion will never be taken away from after my name," said Thomas. "Hopefully I'm going to win some more, plenty more, a lot more, whatever.

"I know you can't get to two unless you get one so I'm excited to have this and it's incredible. It was an awesome day. It was a great experience. It's huge for me.

"As a kid growing up, being a golf fan, you want to win all the Majors. You want to win any Major. For me, the PGA definitely had a special place in my heart and maybe a special drive, I guess you could say. I want to win every tournament I play in. I want to try to win every Major.

"At the end of the day, this was really cool. For this to be my first one and have my dad here and I know grandpa was watching at home. I was able to talk to him and that was pretty cool. It's just a great win for the family, and it's a moment we'll never forget, all of us."


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T6PIETERS, ThomasBEL18-10

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