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Week 42: Thomas moves to World No.3

October 23, 2017


Justin Thomas beat Australia's Marc Leishman on the second playoff hole Sunday to win the inaugural CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES and cap his breakout year on the PGA TOUR.

Thomas sealed his fifth PGA TOUR title in 2017 - and his first of the new 2017-18 PGA TOUR season - when he birdied the second extra hole and Leishman made bogey after finding the water.

The pair went to a sudden-death playoff after completing the first PGA Tour regular-season event in South Korea tied at 9-under 279.

Thomas, who shared the overnight lead with Scott Brown, fell behind when he had a double bogey on the 550-yard par-5 No. 3 hole.

"I just kept telling myself it was a bad golf swing," Thomas said. "It wasn't a mental error or wasn't a wrong judgment that we made but just a bad golf swing at a pretty bad time but I knew you are going make bogeys out here today."

Thomas regained the lead and looked set for the win in regulation until he bogeyed No. 17, a 195-yard par 3 hole. But he made amends with a birdie at the last to join Leishman in the playoff.

"I really played some great golf after the third hole but it's just such a long day with these conditions," Thomas said.

Thomas said he is looking forward to some time off after his breakout season.

"I'm so excited to not do anything," Thomas said. "I officially have nothing left in the tank at this moment."

European Tour - Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation

Sergio Garcia continued his love affair with Real Club Valderrama as he claimed a sixth European Tour win on Spanish soil at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

The home hero won the last staging event of this event here in 2011 as he became the first Spaniard to win a European Tour stroke play tournament over the famous layout.

He has only finished outside the top ten once in 13 events here, with eight top fives, and a closing round of 67 moved him to 12 under and a one-shot win over Dutchman Joost Luiten.

The win is Garcia's third of the European Tour season after he won his maiden Major Championship at the Masters Tournament to go with the Dubai Desert Classic, and closes the gap on Tommy Fleetwood at the top of the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.

England's Daniel Brooks was then at seven under, two shots clear of Welshman Jamie Donaldson and three ahead of Australia's Wade Ormsby as all three men moved inside the top 101 in the Rankings to secure their playing privileges for next season.

Japan Golf Tour - Bridgestone Open

Ryuko Tokimatsu moves from World No. 217 to 136 earning 16 World Ranking Points after the event was reduced to 36 holes due to weather complications.

Asian Tour - Macao Open

Indian hotshot Gaganjeet Bhullar lifted the Macao Open trophy for the second time in his career after closing with a three-under-par 68 to complete a stunning wire-to-wire victory on Sunday.

The 29-year-old Bhullar fired seven birdies against two bogeys and a double-bogey to win by three shots with a 13-under-par 271 total for his eighth Asian Tour victory at the Macau Golf and Country Club.

Bhullar took home a winner's prize purse of US$90,000 and became only the third player after Australian Scott Hend (2013 and 2015) and Zhang Lian-wei of China (2001-2002) to win the storied event twice since the tournament was inaugurated in 1998.

Filipino ace Angelo Que battled to a 69 to share second place with Ajeetesh Sandhu of India, who posted a 70, at the US$500,000 Asian Tour event. Chinese Taipei's Hung Chien-yao took fourth place following a 72 for a 276 total.

India's Rashid Khan returned with the day's low round of 64 to grab a share of fifth place on a 278 total alongside American Johannes Veerman, who closed with a 70 in the Macao showpiece.

China's Lin Yuxin, the only amateur to make the halfway cut, produced the shot of the day when his five-iron from 240 yards found the bottom of the cup for a magical albatross on the par-five 18th hole.

This was the 24th albatross on the Asian Tour and a second at the Macao Open. It was also the first albatross scored by an amateur on the region's premier Tour.

Challenge Tour - The Foshan Open

Oliver Farr claimed his second European Challenge Tour title and a return to the European Tour with a five-shot victory at the Foshan Open.

The Welshman, who graduated from the Challenge Tour in 2014, is assured of a place on the European Tour next season after surpassing 120,000 points with his triumph in China.

Farr came into this week in imperious form after one top-five and two top-ten finishes in his last three Challenge Tour starts, and after three rounds in the 60s he started the day with a five-shot lead.

The 29-year-old never looked in danger of losing that advantage, and after three birdies over four holes between 10 and 13 Farr seemingly ended the contest at Foshan Golf Club.

Despite dropping a shot at the par three 16th, Farr was afforded the luxury of walking down the 18th with a four-shot lead - which he extended to five with a closing birdie.

Having been sat in 50th place on the Road to Oman just six weeks ago, Farr admitted he is still processing the remarkable turnaround which has now taken him up to fourth place in the Rankings.

"It is a massive win," he said. "If you're playing in this event you start the week knowing that if you win you will be close to getting a European Tour card. That brings a little bit of added pressure to the event but that's what also makes it such a big tournament.

"It still hasn't set in yet but it's a fantastic achievement to win one of the biggest Challenge Tour events.

PGA Tour LatinoAmerica - Lexus Peru Open presentado por Diners Club

Trailing by two shots with seven holes left to play, Charlie Saxon of Tulsa, Oklahoma, made a late charge with four birdies in five holes to pull away and win the Lexus Peru Open presentado por Diners Club International. The 24-year old closed an impressive bogey-free week at Los Inkas GC with a 67 to finish the 54-hole abbreviated event at 16-under 204.

Saxon won by a comfortable margin of four shots over Jimmy Beck III of Columbus, Georgia, who carded a 67 as well, and Nick Palladino of Cleveland, Ohio, who posted a 71. Palladino held the lead for a good portion of the day, but with Saxon charging, Palladino made bogeys on Nos. 15 and 17 to slip behind.

Juan Álvarez of Montevideo, Uruguay, claimed low Latin American honors, with a final-round-best, 7-under 65. At 10-under for the week, the 24-year old rookie finished tied for fourth with U.S. players Brian Richey (68), Michael Weaver (71) and Hank Lebioda (71).

"Any time you win a golf tournament it's exciting. That's why we play for," said Saxon, who won twice on PGA TOUR China last year and played on the Tour this season. "I have struggled a little bit lately, so it's really satisfying to get over the hump and play how I think I'm able to play. It was a great week for me."

Alps Tour Golf - ALPS Tour Grand Final

Adria Arnaus ended the season in sparkling form coming from five shots behind to take the Grand Final title and create history as the first amateur to win Alps Tour Order of Merit at Golf Des Iles Borromees.

He shot his best round of the week, 65, to move to -14 for the tournament, then has a nervous wait while the last two groups finished their rounds. As it was, no one was able to match him over the final stretch and he was delighted to take his second win of the season.

"The Grand Final has been a really special event for me, coming here as number on in the Order of Merit, I just wanted to enjoy it and I definitely did that. The course condition was fantastic and I fell in love with the greens, I felt like the ball had a true roll of the time."

Arnaus, ranked 25th on the world amateur rankings, played 9 events on the Alps Tour this year, has managed four top ten finishes as well as his two victories and has now added a Challenge Tour card to his achievements this season.

"I started in the first event in Madrid, with no expectations came to have fun and compete, I ended up in a playoff and that gave me the chance to take part in the rest of the season and it has been amazing."

Joint runner up, Christophe Koerbler of Austria, -12, recorded his highest ever finish on the Alps Tour, finishing his season with a faultless 65, which included four birdies and an eagle.  His performance means he jumps nine places up the Order of Merit to be inside the top 30 giving him category 4 on the Alps Tour for next season. Leo Lespinasse also on -12 shot his second consecutive 69 to share second place with Koerbler and also record his highest finish of the year.

PGA Tour of Australasia - Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open

Stephen Leaney showed he still has what it takes to win claiming the Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open.

Stephen LeaneyPlayed at Royal Perth Golf Club, Leaney fired rounds of 64, 71, 69, 69 for a tournament total 15-under 273 to secure a one shot victory over Callan O'Reilly who missed a six foot birdie putt on the 18th to force a playoff.

This is Leaney's 14th career victory and comes 13 years after his last win at the 2004 Western Australian Open.

"It's been a long day; it's been a long 13 years I think since I won a golf tournament. I just tried to stay in the moment all week this week. That's probably as good as I'd done for a long time. I never got ahead of myself and stuck to the task. Good things happen when you do that," said Leaney.

"I wasn't watching the leaderboard, I was just trying to play the golf course the best way that I can. I made a bad swing on 14 and it didn't hurt me because he (O'Reilly) made bogey as well.

"It's always hard to win golf tournaments, I've won a lot and it still doesn't get any easier. You still go through the same emotions. I was very nervous the last four or five holes."

Having a strong affinity with the tournament, Leaney has now won the title six times, equalling Terry Gale for the most victories.

"It's been my favourite tournament. It was the first one that I played in. I think I won the Terry Gale Cup as the leading amateur about four times, to win it six times is great," added Leaney.

MENA Golf Tour - Sahara Kuwait Golf Championship

Supremely accurate off the tee and clinical with the putter, young Robert MacIntyre held off a spirited challenge from England's Luke Joy to land his first MENA Tour title at the Sahara Kuwait Golf Championship on Wednesday.

Playing in his very second event as a professional, the 21-year-old Scotsman closed with a tidy five-under 65 to reach 14-under for the tournament, beating Joy by two shots, the victory underlining his smooth transition into the paid ranks.

One behind at the start, MacIntyre caught fire on the back nine, picking up three birdies in a row after the making the turn at two-under as his challengers eventually faded, one after another.

Perennial contender Joy mixed four birdies with a bogey in his final round 67 that left the two-time MENA Tour winner alone in second place on 12-under for the second week in a row and sixth overall.

A shot further back was a four-man group consisting of overnight leader Stuart Archibald, Max Smith, Joshua White, all of England, and Scotland's Daniel Hendry, one clear of the English duo Adam Sagar and Jordan Garnish.

It was MacIntyre, who showed maturity beyond his years to dominate the second edition of the event in Kuwait, making him the 12th first-time winner this season in a reflection of winds of change blowing at the MENA Tour.

"I couldn't have asked for a better way to finish. Absolutely delighted with my efforts, a memorable week for me, indeed," said the Scotsman after receiving the winner's trophy from Yousef Abdulaziz Al Qatami and Wael Abdulrahman Al Welayti, both members of the Sahara Kuwait's golf advisory committee.

"It's a nice golf course with narrow fairways. You needed to be accurate off the tee and I drove the ball well all week, creating some good scoring opportunities. I holed putts when I needed to and that was the key to my success," said MacIntyre, who became the fourth Scotsman after Paul Doherty, Clarke Lutton and David Law to win a MENA Tour event.

"I played golf the way as I used to as an amateur and never let the pressure of turning pro affect my game," said MacIntyre who credited his coach David with all the hard work he put in, in honing his competitive edge.

"I was fun playing on the MENA Tour. The competition is great and so is the atmosphere and look forward to playing more events next season," said MacIntyre, who is now 22-under for the last four rounds he has played on the MENA Tour.



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