Justin Thomas holds off Danny Lee to win CJ Cup

American took his second title in their years at Nine Bridges

Justin Thomas celebrates after winning the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges. Photo: Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

Justin Thomas celebrates after winning the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges. Photo: Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

 

Inaugural champion Justin Thomas staved off a challenge by Danny Lee to claim his second CJ Cup title in three years with a two-shot victory over the Korean-born New Zealander at Nine Bridges on Sunday.

The overnight leaders were level for the first 13 holes before Thomas surged ahead with a birdie on the 14th, while Lee bogeyed the 15th and 16th to effectively drop out of contention.

Thomas eventually signed off with a five-under 67 for a winning total of 20-under 268, while Lee carded 69 to finish in second place to the American.

“It was a very, very tough day,” Thomas said after his 11th PGA Tour victory.

“Danny made it extremely difficult. He really made a lot of putts, a lot of unbelievable up and downs to kind of keep me from getting all the momentum. I really, really played solidly today.”

“My dad turned 60 last week, so maybe it’s a little 60th birthday gift to him.”

It has been a difficult week for Lee whose second child, originally due closer to Christmas, was born prematurely last Sunday and is in an incubator.

“Before I tee off my very first tee shot on Thursday, if someone’s going to give me solo second, I would take it in a heartbeat. It is a good week, but also very disappointing,” he said.

“I really wanted to win the CJ CUP. It means a lot to me to win it in front of the Korean fans and all my Korean family, but it is what it is. I gave my best out there today and solo second was the best I could do.”

Hideki Matsuyama (65), Gary Woodland (66) and Cameron Smith (69) shared third place at 15-under.

A further three shots behind was Jordan Spieth, who returned 71, while fellow American Phil Mickelson finished with 68 to be joined by Australian Jason Day (71) at seven-under.

PGA Tour’s three-event Asian swing now moves to Japan where Tiger Woods will compete in the Zozo Championship before Shanghai hosts the World Golf Championships from October 31st.

Collated final round scores in the The CJ Cup at Nine Bridges, Nine Bridges Country Club, Korea (South) (USA unless stated, par 72):

268 Justin Thomas 68 63 70 67

269 Danny Lee (Nzl) 67 66 68 68

273 Cameron Smith (Aus) 67 69 68 69, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 69 70 69 65, Gary Woodland 71 71 65 66

275 Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 64 69 73 69, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 69 68 70 68

276 Wyndham Clark 71 67 67 71, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 69 69 69 69, Jordan Spieth 70 65 70 71, Ryan Moore 69 67 72 68

277 Joaquin Niemann (Chi) 65 73 71 68, Ryan Palmer 70 69 70 68, Kevin Streelman 69 69 69 70, Corey Conners (Can) 70 72 69 66

278 Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 68 71 68 71, Ian Poulter (Eng) 69 72 66 71, Kyung Ju Choi (Kor) 69 74 68 67, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 73 70 72 63

279 Kevin Na 72 68 70 69, Andrew Putnam 70 70 71 68, Matt Jones (Aus) 72 70 72 65, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 71 70 71 67, Nate Lashley 72 69 70 68, Charles Howell III 67 70 72 70

280 Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 69 66 72 73, Harold Varner III 71 71 68 70, Sung Kang (Kor) 72 72 68 68, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 68 74 68 70, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 69 68 74 69

281 Phil Mickelson 70 72 71 68, Jason Day (Aus) 66 73 71 71, Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 71 69 69 72, Pat Perez 73 69 70 69, Viktor Hovland (Nor) 69 69 74 69

282 Jung-Gon Hwang (Kor) 67 71 74 70, Charley Hoffman 67 72 73 70, Collin Morikawa 69 73 65 75

283 Lucas Glover 74 69 71 69, Kyoung-hoon Lee (Kor) 69 67 72 75, Sungjae Im (Kor) 68 73 70 72, Soomin Lee (Kor) 68 72 73 70

284 Joel Dahmen 74 71 70 69, Marc Leishman (Aus) 72 69 72 71, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 70 70 71 73

285 Hyungjoon Lee (Kor) 71 71 71 72, Adam Schenk 71 74 67 73, Branden Grace (Rsa) 71 71 70 73, Danny Willett (Eng) 76 71 70 68, Kyong-jun Moon (Kor) 76 72 71 66, Chez Reavie 68 77 70 70, Chase Koepka 70 72 73 70, Adam Long 73 72 70 70, Kevin Tway 70 72 71 72, Keith Mitchell 74 72 68 71

286 Cheng-Tsung Pan (Tai) 74 69 72 71

287 Luke List 70 75 71 71, Abraham Ancer (Mex) 73 74 71 69, Troy Merritt 74 72 70 71

288 Vaughn Taylor 74 71 71 72, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 73 70 72 73, Sung Hyun Park (Kor) 74 68 74 72

289 Chesson Hadley 75 76 72 66

290 Billy Horschel 71 74 76 69

291 Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 74 74 70 73, Max Homa 69 82 69 71

293 Won Joon Lee (Aus) 74 73 79 67, Jeongwoo Ham (Kor) 74 72 73 74

294 Whee Kim (Kor) 76 75 70 73, Yongjun Bae (Kor) 78 72 73 71, Michael Kim 76 72 71 75

296 Brian Stuard 72 76 75 73, Yi-Keun Chang (Kor) 73 73 80 70

299 Matthew Wolff 73 78 78 70

301 Scott Piercy 72 72 79 78

307 Tae Hee Lee (Kor) 74 77 77 79

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