Thomas takes WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational title after battle with Koepka
Justin Thomas won the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational after a battle down the closing stretch with fellow major winner Brooks Koepka.
The American pair pulled clear on a previously crowded leaderboard on the back nine but it was the 2017 US PGA champion who triumphed with a five-under-par final round of 65 in Memphis.
That left him 13 under, three clear of the field for his third win of the season as four-time major winner Koepka double-bogeyed the last.
England’s Tom Lewis came up just short in his charge for a remarkable victory.
Maintaining the momentum after his stunning course record-equalling 61 at TPC Southwind on Saturday, the 29-year-old from Welwyn Garden City picked up five birdies on the front nine and at one point was in a five-way tie for the lead before twice dropping shots as Thomas and Koepka pulled clear.
Lewis, who opened his tournament with a three-over-par 73, began the day six strokes behind overnight leader Brendon Todd in a share of 10th place.
Yet while Todd started slowly with a run of seven pars before bogeying the eighth, Lewis powered on with four consecutive birdies from the third and another at the ninth.
Thomas, who had been four strokes back in fifth overnight, made his move with four birdies on the front nine to climb to 12 under and overtake Todd.
Koepka, who will bid to win a third successive US PGA Championship next week, kept himself firmly in the picture with birdies at the first and ninth and was 11 under after nine.
He briefly hit the front with a birdie at 13 after Thomas bogeyed 12, but made a costly bogey at 16 as Thomas produced back-to-back birdies.
Koepka’s superb birdie putt at the 17th set up a chance of a dramatic finish but he found water off the final tee, allowing Thomas to close out victory with a par.
Phil Mickelson and Daniel Berger were also in the group at 10 under, while Open champion Shane Lowry and Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick finished a further shot back in a six-way tie for sixth.
South Korea’s Byeong-Hun An and American Rickie Fowler, second and third after Saturday’s play, fell back to eight and seven under respectively.
World number one Jon Rahm was well out of contention but carded a final-round 66 to move to one over. Tommy Fleetwood finished with a 65, his best round of the week, to finish under par on minus three.
Golfers warned of further sanctions if they continue to play in LIV breakaway
The DP World Tour has issued fines of £100,000 and tournament bans to its members who played in the inaugural LIV Golf event earlier this month
DP World Tour hits members who played inaugural LIV series with £100,000 fines
They have also been banned from several forthcoming tournaments including the Scottish Open.
Rory McIlroy not impressed as Brooks Koepka becomes latest big name to join LIV
The world number two labelled the players who have joined the new series as “duplicitous” for the way they have handled their breakaway.
R&A confirms LIV Golf Series players will be allowed to compete at Open
The 150th Open Championship will get underway at St Andrews in three weeks’ time.
Matt Fitzpatrick turns to other major winners for advice on dealing with fame
Fitzpatrick won the US Open on Sunday.
Brooks Koepka set to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series
Koepka’s brother Chase played in the opening event at Centurion Club earlier this month.
Gary Player urges Matt Fitzpatrick to avoid ‘poison’ of modern-day coaching
Player tells US Open champion Fitzpatrick to learn from mistakes of recent major winners, saying: “The teaching today is the worst it has ever been.”
Matt Fitzpatrick’s caddie Billy Foster ready for ‘long party’ after US Open win
Foster won his first major after a 40-year career which includes spells working for the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke.
Matt Fitzpatrick backed to become a dominant force after winning first major
The Englishman claimed his first major title at Brookline.
Matt Fitzpatrick: A Blade with plenty of support who can really cut it
The Sheffield golfer landed his first major – and first professional win in America – at Brookline on Sunday.