Mo Yoshimoto

The Takeaway

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Thomas wins Honda in playoff

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Honda Classic

Palm Beach Gardens, FL



World No. 4 Justin Thomas authored a 2-under-par 35-33=68 in Sunday’s final round at PGA National’s Champion Course to match 54-hole leader and playing competitor Luke List on 8-under 272, and then defeated him with birdie on the first playoff hole, the par-5 18th.


The 24-year-old, a pre-tourney 10/1 outright, claims his eighth PGA TOUR title in 101 career events (97 pro), third in come-from-behind fashion. It’s his second win this season (P1, CJ CUP) and is the season’s second multiple-winner, joining Patton Kizzire. List, chasing his first win in 104 career starts (101 pro), settles for a second runner-up finish (T2, 2017 Sanderson Farms).



Final Leaderboard:



P1- Justin Thomas 67-72-65-68= 272 (-8)

P2- Luke List 71-66-66-69= 272 (-8)

3- Alex Noren 66-75-65-67= 273 (-7)

4- Tommy Fleetwood 70-68-67-69= 274 (-6)

T5- Byeong Hun An 70-72-69-65= 276 (-4)

T5- Webb Simpson 66-72-66-72= 276 (-4)



Thomas’ Position by Round:



R1: T3

R2: T7

R3: T2

R4: T1



List’s Position by Round:



R1: T36

R2: T1

R3: 1

R4: T1




Leader/co-leaders by Round:



R1: Alex Noren (finished 3rd): Drops to 0-for-1 as 18-hole leader/co-leader

R1: Webb Simpson (T5): Drops to 0-for-7


R2: Luke List (P2): Drops to 0-for-3 as 36-hole leader/co-leader

R2: Jamie Lovemark (7th): Drops to 0-for-1


R3: Luke List (P2): Drops to 0-for-2 as 54-hole leader/co-leader


R4: Justin Thomas (P1): Improves playoff record to 2-0

R4: Luke List (P2): Drops to 0-1







Thomas’ come-from-behind wins:



2018 Honda Classic (1-shot deficit)

R4: began T2

Shot: 2-under 68

Winning Margin: PLAYOFF

Career Start: 101 (97 pro)

Outright Odds: 10/1

Draw: EARLY/late



2017 PGA Championship (2-shot deficit)

R4: began T4 

Shot: 3-under 68

Winning Margin: 2 shots

Career Start: 90 (86 pro)

Outright Odds: 40/1

Draw: EARLY/late



2017 CIMB Classic (4-shot deficit)

R4: began T2 

Shot: 8-under 64

Winning Margin: 3 shots

Career Start: 71 (67 pro)

Outright Odds: 16/1

Draw: N/A; limited-field no-cut event







Thomas won his second TOUR title – a successful defense – at the 2017 CIMB in his 71st career start. Inclusive of that, he’s now won seven times in his last 30 starts, a win percentage of 23% over that time-frame.





101: starts

77: cuts made (76%)


47: top 25s (46%)

30: top 10s (30%)

13: top 3s (13%)

8: wins (8%)



Wins by Season:



2018: 2

2017: 5

2016: 1

2015: 0 (rookie season)




Thomas is now 7-for-7 on the season with seven top 25s, three top 10s and two top 5s, both wins. He checked in off a T9 at last week’s Genesis Open and T17 at the WM Phoenix Open two weeks prior to that.


Season Form: P1-T9-T17-T14-T22-P1-T17


Dating to a solo 2nd at the 2017 TOUR Championship – which won him the FedExCup crown – the Alabama product has now recorded eight straight top-25 finishes, second only to Jason Day, who’s connected 10 straight.







Thomas finished 1st in the FEC standings last season en route to Player of the Year honors. His season-high five wins included his first major title (PGA) and his first FEC Playoffs win (Dell Technologies).







The Alabama product’s win at PGA National came in his fourth visit and was his second top-3 finish (T3/2016):


Honda Form: P1-CUT-T3-CUT







Thomas is just the third player all-time to record eight wins on TOUR prior to age 25, joining Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods.




Field Scoring Average:



This was the 46th playing of the Honda, 12th, and 12th consecutive at PGA National’s Champion Course:



Yardage: 7,140

Par: 70 (35-35)


Cumulative scoring averages: R1: 72.64; R2: 73.16; R3: 70.91; R4: 71.49


Total: 72.30



Thomas posted rounds of 67-72-65-68 for 16.180 SG: Total

List posted rounds of 71-66-66-69 for 16.180 SG: Total




How Thomas Won on Sunday:



After kicking off with 67-72 and week-tying-low 65, the Jupiter, Florida, resident began T2, one back.


Playing out of the final twosome with List – a former Jupiter resident – Thomas went out in even-par 35, exchanging birdie-4 at No. 3 with bogey-5 at 9, dipping to solo 4th and one back of three co-leaders (Noren, Fleetwood, Simpson).


He came home in bogey-free 2-under 33, circling birdie-3 at 13 and a walk-off birdie-4 at 18 (from 3’0”), after scaring the flag with his third from 115 yards out.


Thomas hit nine (of 14) fairways and 11 greens in regulation, and went 6-for-7 in scrambles.


List, after a birdie-less 2-over 37, had dropped all the way to solo 5th at the break, two back, but rallied with a bogey-free 32, circling 10, 13 and 18. On holes 10-15, the 33-year-old canned five putts from between eight and 10 feet, including par-savers at 11, 12 and 15. He missed birdie at 16 however, from 8’0”, and had an outside chance to win in regulation, missing eagle at 18 from 33’6”.





FIRST playoff hole (par-5 18th):




Shot 1: 298 yds to right intermediate, 256 yds to hole

Shot 2: 263 yds to green, 39’2” to hole

Shot 3: putt, 35’7”, 3’7” to hole

Shot 4: in the hole; birdie



Shot 1: 295 yds to right rough, 270 yds to hole

Shot 2: 195 yds to left rough, 122 yds to hole

Drop in left rough, 120 yds to hole

Shot 3: 126 yds to green, 17’3” to hole

Shot 4: putt, 22’6”, 4’11” to hole

Shot 5: in the hole; par




Round 4 Stats Comparison (ranking of 75 players):



SG: Off-the-Tee:

Thomas: 1.48 (6th)

List: 1.43 (7th)


SG: Approach-the-Green:

Thomas: 1.22 (18th)

List: -1.05 (55th)


SG: Around-the-Green:

Thomas: 1.43 (6th)

List: 0.14 (35th)


SG: Putting:

Thomas: -0.65 (47th)

List: 1.96 (11th)


SG: Total:

Thomas: 3.48 (T10)

List: 2.48 (T14)



Thomas: 26 (T29)

List: 27 (T15)




Thomas’ Weekly Stats (ranking of 75 players):



Birdies: 15 (T4)

Bogeys: 5 (2nd)

Double Bogeys: 1 (T11)



Par-3 Scoring: 2.88 (T2)

Par-4 Scoring: 3.98 (T12)

Par-5 Scoring: 4.38 (T3)



Driving Distance (all drives): 290 yards (2nd)

Driving Accuracy: 31/56 (T60) at 55.36%

GIR: 47/72 (T14) at 65.28%

Proximity to Hole: 32’11” (T9)

Putts per GIR: 1.787 (34th)

Total Putts: 109 (T5)

Putts by Round: 25-32-26-26

Scrambling: 21/25 (1st) at 84.00%

All Around: (5th); season-leader



SG: Off-the-Tee: 2.46 (T13)

SG: Approach-the-Green: 9.48 (1st); highest total of season

SG: Around-the-Green: 2.16 (15th)

SG: Putting: 2.08 (28th)

SG: Tee-to-Green: 14.096 (1st); highest total of season







A total of 76 pros from a field of 144 pros made the 36-hole cut of 5-over 144:



40 (of 71) EARLY/late; 1 WD

36 (of 70) LATE/early; 2 WDs



Note: Alex Cejka made the cut but WD prior to R4 (thumb)



Exactly 10 players finished in the top 10:



EARLY/late (6):


Justin Thomas (P1); Alex Noren (3rd); Tommy Fleetwood (4th); Jamie Lovemark (7th); Emiliano Grillo (T8); Sam Burns (T8)


LATE/early (4):


Luke List (P2); Byeong Hun An (T5); Webb Simpson (T5); Kelly Kraft (T8)






8 (of 16) tourneys this season with a traditional draw:





EARLY/late: 4


LATE/early: 4




Low Rounds:



R1: 66: Alex Noren, Webb Simpson

R2: 66: Luke List

R3: 65: Alex Noren, Justin Thomas

R4: 65: Derek Fathauer, Byeong Hun An




Bogey-free Rounds:



R1: Daniel Berger (67); Adam Schenk (69)


R3: Webb Simpson (66); Tom Lovelady (67)

R4: Michael Thompson (68); Sam Burns (68)




Career-Best Finishes:



Dylan Frittelli (11th); non-member

Tom Lovelady (T17)

Andrew Novak (T57); non-member, open-qualifier




Updated Top 10 in FEC standings (points):



Thomas collects 500 FEC points for the victory and bumps eight places to 1st in the FEC standings. Kizzire (CUT) drops to 2nd, 11 points behind, after having been atop the standings for the previous six events in a row and eight weeks overall this season.



1. Justin Thomas (1,258)

2. Patton Kizzire (1,247); DOWN one

3. Dustin Johnson (952); DOWN one

4. Jon Rahm (936); DOWN one

5. Brendan Steele (820); DOWN one

6. Jason Day (814); DOWN one

7. Tony Finau (814); DOWN one

8. Chez Reavie (792); DOWN one

9. Pat Perez (790); DOWN one

10. Gary Woodland (757); UP one


Notes: Patrick Cantlay (idle) dropped from 10th to 11th. Kizzire, by virtue of being in the top 10 in the standings, earned the 65th (and final) spot into this coming week’s WGC-Mexico (tourney debut).  




Updated Top 10 in OWGR:



With a Strength of Field rating of 375 (down from 387 last year), Thomas banks 52.00 world-ranking points and nudges one spot to a tied-career-high 3rd in OWGR.



1. Dustin Johnson

2. Jon Rahm

3. Justin Thomas; UP one

4. Jordan Spieth; DOWN one

5. Justin Rose

6. Hideki Matsuyama

7. Rickie Fowler

8. Jason Day

9. Brooks Koepka

10. Rory McIlroy




Field Breakdown & Top-10 Finishes:



OWGR field average: 244th   

OWGR average for top-10 finishers: 133rd 



10 of the Top 25 in OWGR were in the field

3 finished in the top 10



20 of the Top 50 OWGR

4 finished in the top 10



No. 4 Justin Thomas (P1); top-ranked

No. 12 Tommy Fleetwood (4th)

No. 16 Alex Noren (3rd)

No. 45 Webb Simpson (T5)



Other Top 10s:



No. 86 Emiliano Grillo (T8)

No. 98 Byeong Hun An (T5)

No. 111 Jamie Lovemark (7th)

No. 124 Luke List (P2)

No. 234 Kelly Kraft (T8)

No. 597 Sam Burns (T8); on sponsor exemption



Other Notables:



No. 7 Rickie Fowler (CUT); odds-fave, defender

No. 10 Rory McIlroy (T59)

No. 11 Sergio Garcia (T33)

No. 15 Tyrrell Hatton (CUT)

No. 20 Rafa Cabrera Bello (T29)

No. 21 Brian Harman (T33)

No. 25 Patrick Reed (CUT)



Note: Fowler has now missed three of four cuts when defending (T46, 2016 Deutsche Bank).




Season Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:



5: Brian Harman

4: Phil Mickelson, Patton Kizzire, Chesson Hadley

3: Pat Perez, Tony Finau, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Brian Gay, Cameron Smith, Andrew Landry, Marc Leishman, Brian Stuard




Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:



6: Justin Rose (T8-1-T10-T2-T10-T10)


3: Phil Mickelson (T6-T2-T5)


2: Justin Thomas (P1-T9)

2: Jason Day (T2-P1)

2: Martin Laird (T9-T9)




Consecutive Top-10 streaks ended at:



2: Scott Stallings (T29-T4-7)




Consecutive Top-25 streaks on TOUR:



10: Jason Day (T2-P1-T11-T11-T17-4-T25-T6-T9-T24)


8: Justin Thomas (P1-T9-T17-T14-T22-P1-T17-2)

6: Justin Rose (T8-1-T10-T2-T10-T10)

5: Dustin Johnson (T16-T2-1-T2-T17)




Consecutive Top-25 streaks ENDED at:



3: Scott Stallings (T29-T4-7-T23)

2: Brandt Snedeker (CUT-T20-T23)

2: Sergio Garcia (T33-T10-T12)




Season Leaders in Top-25 finishes:



8: Chez Reavie

7: Justin Thomas, Brandon Harkins

6: Brian Harman, Cameron Smith, Austin Cook




TOUR Rookies &/or First-Timers:



TOUR Rookies:16

Top-10 finishes: 0



Tom Lovelady: The Jupiter, Florida, resident took top-rookie honors with T17 on 2-over 282 (75-70-67-70). It’s the first time this season in 11 starts that he’s been low rookie.


Season Form: T11-CUT-CUT-T45-T29


Starts: 11

Made Cuts: 5


Top 25s: 2

Top 10s: 0


FEC Rank: 112th (UP 25)

OWGR: 308th (UP 47); career high




First-Timers: 30

Top-10 finishes: 3



Tommy Fleetwood: 2017 Race to Dubai champ was top debutant with solo 4th on 6-under 274 (70-68-67-69). The first-time member though not a rookie was top 10 in four (of five) strokes gained sub-categories (41st in SG: Putting), including a 13.487 SG: Tee-to-Green (2nd).


Season Form: 4-T37-T20

FEC Rank: 81st (UP 62)

OWGR: 11th (UP one); career high



Byeong Hun An: Closing 65 matched the low round of the day (and week) for T5 on 4-under 276 (70-72-69-65). The Orlando resident ranked 6th for the week in SG: Approach (6.186) but more importantly for him, 19th in SG: Putting (3.273).


Season Form: T5-T23-CUT-CUT-T32-T11

FEC Rank: 75th (UP 31)

OWGR: 84th (UP 14)



Sam Burns: Sponsor invite fired a Sunday 68 – alongside Tiger Woods (70) – and carded one of only two bogey-free rounds in the finale. His T8 on 2-under 278 (70-71-69-68) earns a top-10 exemption into the Valspar in two weeks. The former LSU All-American ranked 4th in SG: Putting for the week (5.764) and now owns three top 25s and two top 10s (T6 as an amateur, 2017 Barbasol) in eight career starts.


Season Form: T8-CUT-T20-T43

FEC Rank: Non-member

OWGR: 388th (UP 209); career high




Picking a Winner:





Through 16 events this season:



5 winners were in their 20s (Thomas: age: 24)

9 were in their 30s

2 were in their 40s





11 (of 16) winners had a top-25 finish the start prior (68.7%):

Thomas? Yes: T9 (Genesis)





6 (of 16) winners had a top-10 finish the start prior (37.5%)

Thomas? Yes: T9 (Genesis)






Average winner’s pre-tourney odds outright (rounded)





In the last 109 events on TOUR, the pre-tourney fave/co-fave has won 8 times for a conversion percentage of 7.3%.



This Season:


16 tournaments

2 pre-tourney fave/co-faves won:


Jon Rahm: 8/1 (CareerBuilder)

Justin Thomas: 15/2 (CJ CUP)




This week’s favorite(s):


Rickie Fowler (9/1): Defender missed the cut by two shots on 7-over 71-76=147. It’s his second MC of the season in five events, second in his last three starts (Farmers). 



Last week’s winner(s):


Bubba Watson (idle)









You can find Mo on Twitter @Bears3423.
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