Cameron Smith – file photo – Bruce Young
Justin Thomas held off a spirited challenge from New Zealander, Danny Lee, to win his second C.J. Cup @ Nine Bridges on Jeju Island in South Korea and in doing so took his number of PGA Tour titles to 11.
Thomas and Lee were locked in battle for much of the final round, matching strides until a birdie by Thomas at the 14th followed by consecutive dropped shots by Lee at the 15th and 16th saw the margin three in Thomas’s favour and although Lee clawed one back the 17th he was unable produce a miracle he needed at the last to draw level.
Thomas birdied the final hole to win by two although Lee’s eagle attempt lipped out allowing Thomas the luxury of three putts to win from 50 feet but he needed only two.
It was impressive from both the leading two players especially given the manner in which they separated themselves from the rest of the field for much of the round.
Lee finished two shots clear of Hideki Matsuyama, Gary Woodland and Cameron Smith who closed with rounds of 65, 66 and 69 respectively on day four to narrow the gap late in the day.
Lee earns just over US$1 million for his impressive week while Smith earns close to US$500,000.
Cameron Smith appeared to be losing touch with a top five spot but he played his last three holes in four under par to move into a share of 3rd.
Smith has finished 3rd, 7th and 3rd in three appearances in the event.
Matt Jones was the next best of the Australians when he finished tied for 20th.