Justin Thomas beat Luke List at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win The Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida as European’s Alex Noren and Tommy Fleetwood came up just short.
Justin Thomas fired a closing round of 68 in The Honda Classic to tie Luke List at the top of the leaderboard and ensure extra holes were required to decide the title at PGA National.
Thomas then birdied the first playoff hole to claim the title. His second win of the season and his eighth PGA Tour title overall, it has seen him move into the lead on the FedEx Cup standings and back to third on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Thomas and List were evenly matched on the run for home in regulation play but it looked like the lower-ranked List might have the edge on the par-5 18th. The 2017 USPGA Champion Thomas found the rough from the tee and was forced to lay-up, while List hit two superb shots to find the back of the green.
But Thomas wasn’t so easily beaten. He nearly holed a wedge shot with his third, leaving just a two-footer for birdie. List had been able to two-putt for his birdie and, when Thomas tapped in, extra holes were required.
The pair returned to the 18th and, this time it was List who erred from the tee, firing into the palm trees. He fired out to the left, up against the grandstand. Thomas blasted his second over the water and was able to two-putt for the victory.
“I feel very confident in pretty much every part of my game right now,” he said. “I just hit some really, really well-executed shots coming down the stretch. I haven’t done that on this difficult of holes before,” Thomas said. “One swing equals a double on those holes. It just was a big confidence booster, really.”
It was another good week on the PGA Tour for European players Alex Noren and Tommy Fleetwood. Noren, who lost out in a playoff for the Farmers to Jason Day, finished just one shy of Thomas and List with Tommy Fleetwood one further back in fourth place. Both men moved up on the Official World Golf Ranking – Fleetwood to 11th and Noren to 14th.
Tiger Woods enjoyed a solid week as he continues his comeback from injury. Woods finished on level par for the week in a tie for 12th. He twice got within four shots of the lead on Sunday but was unable to capitalise. Still, the result shows his game is moving in the right direction.
“I thought I played well this week, I really did,” Woods said. “I had control of it. I didn’t play the last few holes well a couple days but … I’m pleased with the progress I made and I gave myself a chance at it.”
The Honda Classic
PGA National (Champion,) Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Purse: $6,600,000 Par: 70
1 Justin Thomas (USA) 67 72 65 68 272 $1,188,000
2 Luke List (USA) 71 66 66 69 273 $712,800
3 Alex Noren (Swe) 66 75 65 67 273 $448,800
4 Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 70 68 67 69 274 $316,800
T5 Ben An (Kor) 70 72 69 65 276 $250,800
T5 Webb Simpson (USA) 66 72 66 72 276 $250,800
7 Jamie Lovemark (USA) 68 69 68 72 277 $221,100
T8 Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 71 72 69 66 278 $191,400
T8 Sam Burns (USA) 70 71 69 68 278 $191,400
T8 Kelly Kraft (USA) 72 69 66 71 278 $191,400
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage