Sunday’s roundup: Thomas successfully defends title
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — Justin Thomas completed a fairytale return to the CIMB Classic with a successful title defense after eight birdies in the final round Sunday earned him a three-shot victory over closest rival Hideki Matsuyama.
The American did not match his record tournament score of 26-under 262 in 2015, but still finished with an impressive 23 under for only his second PGA Tour title.
“It’s great to win again here. It’s a place I’m comfortable with … Hopefully I will be able to come back next year,” said Thomas, who shot a 64 to match his first-day score.
Overnight leader Anirban Lahiri, who led the field by four shots into the final round, lost ground after a quadruple bogey on the third hole, after his tee shot went into a tree.
The Indian recovered admirably with a birdie and eagle in the next two holes, but the early setback meant he only settled in joint third with Derek Fathauer (67).
“I got unlucky with the tee shot and just compounded my errors. My short game again, coming up a little bit to bite me,” said Lahiri, the 2015 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner.
Marc Leishman (66) finished one shot away from Lahiri in fifth, with Keegan Bradley (68) one spot below him on 16 under.
At Hainan, China, Minjee Lee got up-and-down one last time at Jian Lake to win the Blue Bay LPGA for her second victory of the year and third in 17 months.
The 20-year-old Australian chipped to 3 feet from the front runoff area on the par-5 18th to match Jessica Korda’s birdie and beat the American by a stroke. Lee’s chip left Korda with an 18-footer for eagle from off the back edge that she missed to the left.
Ariya Jutanugarn tied Lee with a two-stroke swing on the par-3 17th, then hooked her 3-wood drive into the water on 18 to end her chances for a tour-high sixth victory.
Lee rebounded after losing a six-stroke lead Saturday, closing with a 2-under 70 in hot and humid conditions to finish at 13-under 275. Korda had a 71. Jutanugarn shot 70, her closing bogey leaving her two strokes back.
At Vilamoura, Portugal, Ireland’s Padraig Harrington got up-and-down for par on the final hole to win the Portugal Masters for his first European Tour victory in eight years.
The 45-year-old Harrington pitched from the rough and holed a 4-foot putt for a 6-under 65 and a one-stroke victory over defending champion Andy Sullivan of England.
Harrington finished at 23-under 261 at Victoria. The three-time major champion has 15 European Tour titles. Sullivan also closed with a 65.