Relieved Thomas wins BMW Championship by three strokes over Cantlay

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 00:17 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

REUTERS: Justin Thomas faltered in the final round at the BMW Championship on Sunday but held on for an ultimately comfortable three-stroke victory at Medinah in suburban Chicago. 

He carded a closing four-under 68 to finish on a 25-under-par total of 263, while fellow American Patrick Cantlay shot a 65 for second place on 22-under.  

Thomas started the day with a six-shot advantage but when he bogeyed the 10th hole, after almost hitting his second out of bounds, the lead over Cantlay was down to two. 

But Thomas steadied with clutch play over the next three holes, twice holing putts of around 12 feet to re-establish his authority.  “Patrick made that very interesting,” a relieved Thomas said.  “I hit the ball so bad to start the day. I made it hard on myself because usually I’m pretty good at hitting fairways and greens and I couldn’t hit a fairway ... but I stayed patient and that birdie on 11 was huge. 

“I was really nervous today. It’s hard to play with the lead. I was enjoying it, though.” The victory was the 10th of his PGA Tour career but the first this year in what has been an injury-interrupted season. Thomas hurt his wrist in March and took six weeks off to rest.  “I’d forgotten how hard it was to win,” said the 26-year-old former world number one. 

“This game is so hard, you don’t know how often things like this are going to happen. 

“It’s not like I’ve been playing bad. I would argue I’ve played just as well this year as any other year. It’s a very humbling and tough game and I learned to respect it and be patient.” The result means Thomas is the number one seed at next week’s season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta.