Sentry Tournament of Champions Recap: Thomas Rings In the New Year
Sentry Tournament of Champions Recap: Thomas Rings In the New Year

This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.

Justin Thomas tried very hard to kick away the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Sunday, but Xander Schauffele and Patrick Reed simply wouldn't let him.

In a wild, whiplash-inducing christening of the new year on the PGA Tour calendar, Thomas somehow was the last man standing in a three-way playoff, winning on the third playoff hole at Kapalua in Hawaii.

Thomas held a two-stroke lead with three holes to go, but he stunningly found the hazard on the 677-yard 18th hole and bogeyed. All Schauffele, his playing partner, needed to do was two-putt from 35 feet to successfully defend his title. But he three-jacked it. Nearby, Reed was watching it all unfold, with everything breaking just right to get him into a playoff when it appeared he'd be at least a shot short.

Schauffele promptly repeated his three-putt on the first extra hole and he was gone. Reed twice had the tournament on his putter in the playoff but couldn't deliver. And Thomas almost found the hazard yet again on the third playoff hole, oh-so-narrowly clearing it to close out the tournament with a winning birdie.

The victory was Thomas' second at Kapalua and his 12th of the PGA Tour. The relevance there is that we're starting to view Thomas' career from a historical perspective. He is now one of just four golfers to reach a dozen Tour victories before turning 27. The others are Tiger Woods, Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus, who also happen to be 1-2-3

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Len Hochberg
Hochberg covers golf for RotoWire. A veteran sports journalist, he contributes to Sports on Earth and was an editor and reporter at The Washington Post for many years.
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