Justin started the day with a three shot lead and got it all the way up to a five shot lead through 14 holes on Sunday. There is some truth to the fact that no lead is safe and Justin quickly saw that five shot lead go down to one with three holes left.
Justin on the 11th tee par 3. Hideki Matsuyama hit a great shot on the 11th and Justin hit it in super close to just 21″. Justin’s tee shot on the 16th. Justin’s approach into the 16th green which he hit to 10’7″ above the hole, but had to settle for par. Justin opted for three wood to assure he kept it in proper position as the current leader. Justin calculated to hit 8 iron with the huge downhill and down wind and yes that says 226!The result into 17 was absolutely perfect and he had 3’3″ for birdie. Justin would go on to make this putt after Hideki Matsuyama three putted from 29′ to pretty much end his chances to catch Justin. Justin now had a three shot lead with one hole to play. It has to be a great feeling knowing you have that size lead standing on what has to be one of the widest fairways on the PGA Tour. Not too shabby of a view either. 😎Justin hit a perfect little cut that found the bottom left side of the fairway. On TV you can clearly hear the conversation between Justin and his caddy Jimmy Johnson. Justin asked if Jimmy liked six iron. He replied “No”. He said how about five iron and Jimmy said “No, I was thinking 7 iron.” Justin seemed a little surprised and this is where trust in your caddy goes a long way. It was interesting to listen to because this is pretty standard amongst players and caddies. With a three shot lead on a par five it’s still not a game set match situation so you still have to go through your thought process and focus. Justin and his caddy discussed and settled on seven iron to cover the front and release back down to the hole, since everything slopes from front to back and right to left on this green. His shot settled 28’6″ from the hole for eagle which he hit a little past and then cleaned up after Hideki finished out. Justin Thomas and his caddy Jimmy Johnson about to collect their 3rd PGA Tour Victory together. No better moment as a caddy than to keep the winning flag off of 18. Justin is one of the hottest players on the planet right now. Will he carry his hot hand over to the Sony Open next week? Hard to say as GOLF is such a fickle game, but I certainly feel his odds are strong.
As hot as Justin is the player he beat is awfully hot himself since this season started. Below is Hideki Matsuyama’s season to date and you can see it’s very impressive. It’s very clear who the two best players are right now. It’s a very long season where lots can happen for good or bad. I look for these two to continue these great seasons and wouldn’t be surprised if one is holding the Fed Ex Cup when all is said and done. The PGA Tour moves just down the road to Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. Below is a photo of the famous “W” formed by the trees at the Country Club.
Will Justin Thomas win back to back or will someone come from out of the dark and jump start their PGA Tour career? We will certainly know in seven days time.
Thanks for reading! Now go out and make some BIRDIES.
Michael Romano Jr