3 takeaways from the Tournament of Champions

Justin Thomas knows he’ll be back for the SBS Tournament of Champions in 2018 after winning the tournament by three on Sunday over Hideki Matsuyama.

The tour now moves from Maui to Oahu for the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club, but before we leave Kapalua, here are three things we learned this week.

Justin Thomas is tough and there’s more to come

Thomas was crushing the field with a five-shot lead on the back nine, but after Matsuyama holed out for eagle at No. 14 and Thomas double-bogeyed No.15, the lead was down to one. At the 17th, Thomas stuck his second to 3 feet for a birdie. He followed that up with another birdie on the 18th for the three-shot win.

“It was nice to finish those last two holes with some good shots,” he said after the round. “I felt like it’s a great start to the 2017 year and hopefully a sign of more things to come.”

Since November, he’s the only player to defeat Matsuyama, accomplishing it twice.

Jordan Spieth could easily have won

Not to take anything away from Thomas, but defending champion Jordan Spieth could easily have ended up holding the trophy again. Spieth recorded the most birdies in the field with 26, and tied the low round for the week Sunday with a 65, but couldn’t prevent the big numbers on the card. The Texan had five bogeys, two double-bogeys, and one triple-bogey to ruin a pair of great-looking rounds Friday and Saturday.

Day, Johnson experience putting woes

Jason Day’s long offseason layoff showed on the greens. He was happy with the way he struck the ball, but struggled with the flatstick in his hands. “The putting wasn’t quite there,” Day said after his round Sunday.

The same goes for Dustin Johnson, who made just three bogeys the entire week, but never felt comfortable on the greens.

“I didn’t make any putts, I played pretty well and had a lot of chances. I could (have) easily been right there. … Nothing went in the hole,” said Johnson after a T-6 finish.

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