Monday, February 26, 2018

Thomas beats List in play-off to win Honda Classic in Florida

2018 The Honda Classic
(The 16th of 44 events in the PGA TOUR Season)

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida              Feb. 22 – 25, 2018              Purse: $6,600,000 ($1,188,000/winner)
PGA National (Champion Course)        Par/Yards: 35-35—70/7,140

Final-Round Notes – Sunday, February 25, 2018

Weather: Partly cloudy. High of 82. Wind SE 10-18 mph.

Final-Round Leaderboard
Justin Thomas*       67-72-65-68—272 (-8)
Luke List                 71-66-66-69—272 (-8)
Alex Noren              66-75-65-67—273 (-7)
Tommy Fleetwood   70-68-67-69—274 (-6)
Byeong Hun An       70-72-69-65—276 (-4)
Webb Simpson       66-72-66-72—276 (-4)
Thomas defeated List with a birdie-4 on the first play-off hole.

Other Asian Scores
C.T. Pan                71-71-71-69 – 282 (+2)
Anirban Lahiri         73-71-71-74 – 289 (+9)
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 71-72-74-76 – 293 (+13)

Play-off Notes
Justin Thomas defeated Luke List with a birdie-4 on the first play-off hole. Thomas improved his play-off record to 2-0. In his first play-off, he defeated Marc Leishman at the 2017 THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES. This was the first play-off for List.

This was the ninth play-off at The Honda Classic and first since 2015 (Padraig Harrington def. Daniel Berger). The play-off was the seventh this season and fifth in the last seven weeks.

Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas earned his eighth career US PGA Tour victory in his 101st career Tour start at the age of 24 years, 9 months, 27 days.
 Tour victories (8): 2016 CIMB Classic. 2017 CIMB Classic, SBS Tournament of Champions, Sony Open in Hawaii, PGA Championship, Dell Technologies Championship. 2018 THE CJ CUP NINE BRIDGES, The Honda Classic.

Thomas won for the seventh time in his last 31 starts (23%). This was his second win of the season, following his play-off victory at the inaugural THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES in the autumn. Thomas joined Patton Kizzire as the only multiple winners of the season. Last season, Thomas posted the most wins of 2017-18 with five wins.

With the win, the reigning FedExCup champion moved to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings for the first time since clinching the FedExCup in 2017. The quickest rise to No. 1 by a reigning FedExCup champion was Brandt Snedeker, who reclaimed the top spot five weeks into the 2013 season.

With the win, Thomas moved to No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking, the highest position of his career.

With two wins on the season, Thomas joined Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker and Jordan Spieth as the only FedExCup champions with multiple wins in the season following their FedExCup victory.

Thomas entered the final round T2 and one shot off the lead. Thomas has now entered the final round T2 or better nine times and gone on to win seven of those times.

Thomas’ 2-under 68 was his 13th straight par-or-better final round. He’s a combined 37-under par in those final rounds. His final-round scoring average on TOUR is 68.29 (fourth-best on TOUR). The TOUR average is 71.48.

Thomas won in his fourth start at The Honda Classic where he has two missed cuts (2015 and 2017), a T3 (2016) and win (2018).

Thomas will compete in next week’s World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship where he finished T5 in 2017.

About Justin Thomas
Height: 5-10 Weight: 145
Birthdate: April 29, 1993
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky Residence: Jupiter, Florida
Turned Professional: 2013
Joined TOUR: 2015 Tour Graduate: 2014

Luke List
Third-round leader Luke List birdied the par-5 18th hole to shoot a 1-under 69 and force a playoff with Justin Thomas before eventually falling on the first extra hole. The runner-up marked List’s best finish on the PGA TOUR.

With 15 birdies this week, List brought his total birdie count to 556 since the start of last season, the most on TOUR during that span.

List earned 300 points in the FedExCup to move to No. 16 in the standings, jumping 23 spots. List has never qualified for the TOUR Championship in Atlanta. His best finish in the FedExCup was No. 50 in 2016-17.

List finished runner-up in his fourth start in The Honda Classic (2018/P2, 2017/T52, 2016/T10, 2013/MC).

This was List’s 11th start of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season. Prior to this week, he best finish was a T5 at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, won by Justin Thomas.

List joined the PGA TOUR in 2013 and made his 104th career start on TOUR this week.

Byeonghun An
South Korea’s Byeonghun An shot the day’s joint lowest round of 5-under 65 to finish T5 for his best finish yet in the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season. After missing several makeable birdie putts on his opening two holes, An converted birdies on the third, fourth, sixth and eighth holes to turn in 31.

A bogey on 10 was soon forgotten as An drained a 39-foot birdie putt on 16 before ending his round in style with his sixth birdie of the day at the par five 18th hole for a four-day total of 4-under 276, four shots behind the playoff duo of Justin Thomas and Luke List.

An’s best finish prior to Sunday was a T11 at the inaugural CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES on home soil in October. He earned 105 FedExCup points for his strong showing and moved up to 75th position in the latest standings.

An QuotesIt was good all round. I missed a few short putts early on for birdies but I also made a lot of putts for birdies and pars. I was happy to make some great bunker saves on 15 and 17 for pars. I was solid off the tee and my short game was good. I’ve been working hard at the range and putting green, so it’s good to see some results. My next event will be in Tampa in two weeks’ time. I’ll keep grinding and keep working hard.  

Additional Player Notes
In his first time playing back-to-back weeks since 2015, Tiger Woods closed with an even-par 70, finishing 12th. Woods led the field in Proximity and finished third in Driving Distance (319.1). Entering the week having played 11 rounds at PGA National, Woods was 2-over on “The Bear Trap,” with only one ball in the water. This week, he played the three-hole stretch 8-over with two water balls (both #15). With 10 total bogeys or worse, seven of those came at “The Bear Trap.”

Sweden’s Alex Noren posted his second top-three finish on the PGA TOUR in his last four events (Farmers Insurance Open/P2). He moved to No. 19 in his first season eligible for the FedExCup Playoffs.

Tommy Fleetwood finished fourth in his Honda Classic debut after back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 14-15. Fleetwood will compete in next week’s World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship where he finished runner-up in 2017.

Paired with Tiger Woods in the final round, sponsor invite Sam Burns, 21, recorded one of two bogey-free final rounds, a 2-under 68 to finish T8 in just his fourth PGA TOUR start as a professional. This marks his second top-10 on TOUR, following a T6 at the 2017 Barbasol Championship (amateur).

Emiliano Grillo (T8) led the field with 19 birdies.

Andrew Novak (T57) was the only player in the field to make par or better on every hole of The Bear Trap (Nos. 15-17) all four rounds. He played the 15th (Even), 16th (-1) and 17th (-1). Cumulative averages for “The Bear Trap” were: No. 15 (3.391/third-toughest), No. 16 (4.262/fourth-toughest), No. 17 (3.533/Toughest).

Alex Cejka withdrew prior to the start of the final round with a thumb injury.

Bogey-free rounds:
R1: Daniel Berger (67), Adam Schenk (69).
R2: None
R3: Webb Simpson (66), Tom Lovelady (67).
R4: Michael Thompson (68), Sam Burns (68)

Scoring Averages at the par-70 PGA National:
Front 9              Back 9              Total                 Cumulative
R1:       35.483              37.154              72.636              ---        
R2:       35.879              37.277              73.156              72.896 
R3:       35.316              35.592              70.908              72.233
R4:       35.427              36.053              71.480              72.045



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