Final-Round Notes – Sunday, October 23, 2016
Weather: Mostly cloudy with a high of 87. Wind WNW at 5-10 mph.
Justin Thomas 64-66-71-64 – 265 (-23)
Hideki Matsuyama 69-64-69-66 – 268 (-20)
Derek Fathauer 64-70-68-67 – 269 (-19)
Anirban Lahiri 66-66-65-72 – 269 (-19)
Trailing by four strokes beginning the final round, Justin Thomas birdied six of his first 10 holes en route to a bogey-free, 8-under 64 to successfully defend his title by three strokes over Hideki Matsuyama and claim his second career PGA TOUR victory in his 71st TOUR start at the age of 23 years, 5 months, 24 days.
Thomas’ three-stroke win at 23-under 265 is the largest margin of victory on the PGA TOUR since Dustin Johnson won the 2016 BMW Championship by three strokes.
Thomas led after the first two rounds, before a third-round 1-under 71 left him trailing Anirban Lahiri’s 19-under lead by four strokes. Thomas birdied his last five holes on Saturday on his way to the 71.
With the win, Thomas collects 500 FedExCup points and moves to No. 1 in the standings with 575 points. It took 454 points to qualify for the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup in 2015-16, 572 to qualify for Deutsche Bank Championship, 705 for BMW Championship and 1,127 for the TOUR Championship.
With the win, Thomas extends his exempt status through the 2018-19 PGA TOUR Season.
If not otherwise exempt, Thomas earns a spot into the following PGA TOUR events in 2017: Tournament of Champions, CareerBuilder Challenge, Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, Masters Tournament, RBC Heritage, THE PLAYERS Championship, DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, the Memorial Tournament, Quicken Loans National and PGA Championship.
Thomas made a total of 29 birdies this week. The PGA TOUR all-time record for birdies in a 72-hole event is 32, set by Mark Calcavecchia (2001 Waste Management Phoenix Open) and Paul Gow (2001 B.C. Open).
Thomas joins Ryan Moore (2013-2014) as players to successfully defend their CIMB Classic title. Since becoming an official PGA TOUR event, the duo are the tournament’s only winners.
Thomas becomes the first player to successfully defend a title since Matt Every won the 2014-2015 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.
On his way to last year’s win at TPC Kuala Lumpur, Thomas set the tournament-record for low 72-hole score (26-under-par).
Thomas wins the CIMB Classic a week after finishing T8 at the season-opening Safeway Open. The last time he recorded back-to-back top-10 finishes was at last year’s Safeway Open (T3) and CIMB Classic (1st).
Thomas is coming off a 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season highlighted by seven top-10 finishes in 28 starts. As a result, he finished all four FedExCup Playoffs events and ended his season ranked 12th in the FedExCup standings.
Thomas becomes just the second (of seven) player come from behind in the final round to win in CIMB Classic history. Nick Watney first achieved the feat in 2012. From 2010-2012, the CIMB Classic was unofficial.
At 23 years old, Thomas becomes the season’s first winner in his 20s. Fourteen different winners under the age of 30 accounted for a total of 18 PGA TOUR titles in 2015-16.
A resident of Jupiter, Fla., Thomas has pledged $250 per birdie in his first three events of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season to Convoy of Hope, a disaster-response, non-profit organization providing aid to those impacted by Hurricane Matthew which brought devastation to Haiti, the Bahamas and the southeastern United States. Through his first two events, Thomas has made 51 birdies and one eagle, totaling $13,000 in donations. Additional donations for the #MakingBirdiesForMatthew cause can be made at https://www.convoyofhope.org/donate/makingbirdiesformatthew/.
Thomas’ career PGA TOUR starts-made cuts-top-10s-wins: 71-52-17-2
Thomas’ Statistics for the Week:
R1 at a glance: 9 of 14 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 26 putts
R2 at a glance: 11 of 14 fairways, 15 of 18 greens, 29 putts
R3 at a glance: 10 of 14 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 28 putts
R4 at a glance: 11 of 14 fairways, 15 of 18 greens, 27 putts
About Justin Thomas
Birthdate: April 29, 1993
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky
Resides: Goshen, Kentucky
Turned Pro: 2013
Web.com Tour Graduate: 2014
Joined PGA TOUR: 2014-2015
Beginning the final round four strokes off Anirban Lahiri’s lead, Hideki Matsuyama birdied his last two holes en route to a bogey-free, 6-under 66 and claim solo possession of second place at 20-under 268.
Matsuyama was making his fourth start in the CIMB Classic and came into this week on the heels of a fifth-place finish in last year’s event.
Matsuyama was in search of his third win on the PGA TOUR and first since the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open. He first won the Memorial Tournament in 2014. Both victories came via sudden death playoff.
Matsuyama, who finished 13th in the FedExCup last season, is coming off a win at the Japan Open last week by three shots on the Japan Tour.
India’s Anirban Lahiri, who began the final round with a four-stroke lead at 19-under 197, experienced quite the up-and-down outgoing nine. After opening with a pair of pars, Lahiri took a quadruple-bogey-9 at the third hole. He followed that with a birdie and an eagle at the par-4 fourth and par-5 fifth holes, respectively. Lahiri would post an even-par 72 and settle for a share of third place at 19-under 269.
Had he won, Lahiri would have become just the second player from India to win on the PGA TOUR, joining Arjun Atwal (2010 Wyndham Championship).
Last week, Lahiri finished the Asian Tour’s Venetian Macao Open with seven birdies to force a playoff before a bogey in the first playoff hole resulted in a second-place finish.
Lahiri’s four-shot lead through 54 holes marked the largest in the history of the CIMB Classic. The previous record belonged to Ben Crane, who led by two entering the final round in 2010 on his way to victory.
In his second year as a full-time PGA TOUR member, Lahiri’s lowest finish to-par on the PGA TOUR before this week was 14-under, which he accomplished at the 2015 CIMB Classic and the 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge.
Prior to this week, Lahiri’s best finish was a tie for fifth at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
This marked Lahiri’s first start of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR season. In his first full year as a PGA TOUR member last season, he made 16 cuts in 21 starts and finished 119th in the FedExCup, good enough to retain his card.
A seven-time Asian Tour winner, this marked Lahiri’s fifth appearance at the CIMB Classic.
Following an opening-round, 8-under 64 to claim a share of the lead, Derek Fathauer made four birdies and an eagle in the final round to close with a 5-under 67 and finish T3 with 54-hole leader Anirban Lahiri. The finish comes in his 85 professional start on the PGA TOUR and marks his best showing. His previous-best was solo-fourth at the 2015 OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
Fathauer made a return to the PGA TOUR this season by virtue of his 100th-place finish in the 2015-16 season.
Fathauer, who joined the PGA TOUR in 2009, advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs last season for the first time, making it through the Deutsche Bank Championship.
CIMB Classic and the FedExCup
In its seventh year, the CIMB Classic brought together top players from the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup standings, top players from the Asian Tour Order of Merit and top players from Malaysia. The FedExCup returned to Malaysia with PGA TOUR members receiving official FedExCup points as part of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR season. The CIMB Classic was the first event in Asia to offer full FedExCup points.
CIMB Group, the title sponsor of CIMB Classic since its inception in 2010, recently announced the extension of its title sponsorship of the golf tournament through 2020. The four-year extension reflects the success of the only official PGA TOUR FedExCup event in Southeast Asia, which is also the richest in the region with a purse of USD7 million. Since it was first staged, the tournament has attracted world class professionals like Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa. CIMB Classic, being one of most prestigious and biggest sporting events in the region, has undoubtedly boosted Malaysia’s position as a golfing tourism destination, attracting an audience from all over Asia annually.
R1: Paul Casey (65), Sergio Garcia (67), Brian Harman (67), Harold Varner III (68), Jamie Lovemark (68), Kevin Na (70), Zach Blair (70).
R2: Russell Knox (63), Hideki Matsuyama (64), Justin Thomas (66), Rafa Cabrera Bello (67), Brendan Steele (69), Charles Howell III (69), Miguel Tabuena (69), Robert Streb (70).
R3: Scott Hend (63), John Huh (66), Jim Herman (66), Scott Piercy (67), Derek Fathauer (68), Robert Streb (68), David Lingmerth (68), Chez Reavie (68), James Hahn (69), Paul Casey (70)
R4: Justin Thomas (64), Hideki Matsuyama (66), Siwoo Kim (66), Younghan Song (66), Pat Perez (68), Gaganjeet, Bhullar (68),
Scoring Averages at the par-72 Silverado Resort and Spa (North):
Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative
R1: 34.885 35.514 70.399
R2: 34.795 35.525 70.320 70.358
R3: 34.346 35.256 69.602 70.108
R4: 35.193 35.679 70.872 70.297