Golf

PGA champion Thomas wants to win 'a lot more' Majors

Watching his friend Jordan Spieth win Major titles was beyond frustrating for Justin Thomas, who captured one of his own yesterday morning (Singapore time) by winning the US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.

The 24-year-old American fired a three-under 68 to finish 72 holes on eight-under 276 for a two-stroke victory over South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen, Italy's Francesco Molinari and American Patrick Reed.

Hideki Matsuyama, seeking to become the first male golfer from Japan to win a Major, held the lead briefly mid-round before fading with three consecutive bogeys from the 11th.

He carded a 72 and finished joint-fifth with American Rickie Fowler (67).

"Frustration probably isn't the right word. Jealousy definitely is," Thomas said.

"There's no reason to hide it. I wanted to be doing that and I wasn't.

"There's only four of them in a year, and to be one of them, a Major champion, is really cool."

World No. 2 Spieth won last month's British Open to go with his 2015 US Masters and US Open titles, and would have completed a career Grand Slam by taking the Wanamaker Trophy that Thomas hoisted.

"Hopefully, I'm going to win some more, plenty more, a lot more," Thomas said.

"I know you can't get to two unless you get one.

"So I'm excited to have this and it's incredible. It was an awesome day."

And, from telling his girlfriend in advance to change her flight plans to sinking three emotional back-nine birdies, Thomas kept his cool while thinking all along it was his turn to win.

"I truly felt like I was going to win," Thomas said. "I was just very confident."

He revealed that he never felt overcome by the tension and pressure on a day when he was among five deadlocked for the lead at one stage.

"I just had an unbelievable calmness," Thomas said.

"I thought I would be very shaky. At one point, I looked at my hand and it was a little bit shaky. But that's why you play. You play for those nerves."

Thomas is the third consecutive American in his 20s to win a Major after Spieth and US Open champion Brooks Koepka, and the third first-time Major winner in a row at the PGA after Australian Jason Day in 2015 and American Jimmy Walker last year. - AFP

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