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Justin Thomas wins US PGA Championship in thrilling finale

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Justin Thomas claimed a maiden Major Championship as the American soared to a two-stroke victory at the US PGA Championship in a thrilling final day, during which Francesco Molinari and Patrick Reed both made charges towards the title before finishing tied for second alongside Louis Oosthuizen.

Thomas was certainly a crowd favourite at Quail Hollow Club and he undoubtedly provided the most memorable moments in a finale which was set alight when his birdie putt at the ninth hole sat on the cup for eight seconds before falling to rapturous roars from the galleries.

 

That took the 24 year old to the turn in one under before he followed that drama immediately with a second successive birdie at the tenth. The momentum was with the Kentucky player at that stage as the crowds descended on the penultimate group of which he was a part, and two more birdies at the 13th and 17th lifted him three shots clear heading down the last.

After finding a fairway bunker with his final tee shot, Thomas’s nerveless approach left him with four putts to win and a bogey five rounded off a memorable three under final round 68 for an eight under total.

Molinari, meanwhile, put himself in the mix with a stunning 67 which began with a flawless two under par front nine before the Italian followed a disappointing bogey at the par five tenth with four birdies in five holes. Another dropped shot at the 16th, however, put paid to his chances.

His fellow European Tour Member Reed joined him in second place soon after, the American carding four birdies in six holes early on for a two under front nine before picking up a shot each at the tenth, 14th and 15th to move within reach, before a bogey at the last for a 67 and a six under total.

Oosthuizen holed a huge putt at the last to join them in a share of the runner-up spot. Jordan Smith’s incredible rise through the ranks reached heady new heights as the Englishman finished with a 68 to claim a top ten on his Major debut.

Thomas shared after his win, “It was a crazy day. It had to be an unbelievable watching today in terms of spectating and sitting at home watching on TV. I forget what hole it was, I think walking up to the 12th green, there were maybe five of us at seven under. I had no idea it was that close. I kind of thought Hideki and I were at around 7 or 8 or whatever he wasand then some other guys.

“Then I saw Patrick Reed was playing well. I saw Rickie was kind of making a run. I saw Francesco was up there, and then obviously Kisner and Stroud behind us. To see that was kind of crazy. And then that chip-in on 13 was probably the most berserk I've ever gone on the golf course. I'm kind of interested to see how I looked for that. It was nice.

“It was something that obviously as a kid growing up, being a golf fan, you want to win all the majors. You want to win any major. For me, the PGA Championship definitely had a special place in my heart, and maybe a special drive, I guess you could say. Like I said, I want to win every tournament I play in. I want to try to win every major.”

Scores

276 Justin Thomas

278 Francesco Molinari; Louis Oosthuizen; Patrick Reed

279 Rickie Fowler; Hideki Matsuyama

280 Graham DeLaet; Kevin Kisner

283 Jason Day; Matt Kuchar; Jordan Smith; Chris Stroud

284 Scott Brown; Paul Casey; James Hahn; Brian Harman; Dustin Johnson; Brooks Koepka; Marc Leishman; Ryan Moore; Henrik Stenson

285 Rory McIlroy; Grayson Murray; Ian Poulter; Chez Reavie; Robert Streb; Gary Woodland

286 Byeong Hun An; J.B. Holmes; Pat Perez; Jordan Spieth; Richard Sterne

287 Keegan Bradley; Patrick Cantlay; Bud Cauley; Kevin Chappell; Bryson DeChambeau; Lucas Glover; Jason Kokrak; Jamie Lovemark; Sean O'Hair; Webb Simpson; Chris Wood

288 Tony Finau; Jim Herman; Sung Kang; Thorbjørn Olesen

289 Charley Hoffman; Billy Horschel; Zach Johnson; Satoshi Kodaira; Shane Lowry; Charl Schwartzel

290 Ryan Fox; Bill Haas; D.A. Points; Steve Stricker

291 Jason Dufner; Kelly Kraft; Jon Rahm

292 Tommy Fleetwood; Adam Scott

293 Dylan Frittelli; Cody Gribble; David Lingmerth

294 Vijay Singh

295 K.T. Kim; Alex Noren; Hideto Tanihara; Lee Westwood

296 Russell Henley; Daniel Summerhays

297Charles Howell III; Omar Uresti

299 Anirban Lahiri