You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Thomas fights off Matsuyama in Maui

AAP logoAAP 8/01/2017 Evin Priest

American Justin Thomas has fended off a final-round challenge from in-form Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama to win the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

Thomas fired a final round four-under-par 69 at Kapalua's Plantation course, his 22-under 270 handing him a three-shot victory over Matsuyama (70).

The 23-year-old Thomas found little challenge from world No.1 Jason Day, who carded a Sunday 69 - which featured an eagle on the last hole - to move to 13 under, tied 12th.

Thomas started the final round of the 32-man event with a two-shot lead over world No.6 Matsuyama, who has won four of his past six starts worldwide.

And the final group playing partners saved the drama until last, with Matsuyama three-putting the 17th to hand Thomas a three-shot lead going into the par-5 18th.

Both found the fairway and hit stellar second shots to have eagle chances, before Thomas calmly slotted in a birdie putt for his third US PGA Tour title.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth's sizzling Sunday 64 rocketed him into a three-way tie for third - only two days after the world No.5 declared he had no chance of winning.

Spieth's 16-under 276 was matched by Americans Pat Perez and Ryan Moore.

A shot back was world No.3 Dustin Johnson and No.8 Patrick Reed - two of the big names in a three-way tie for sixth.

Although the 29-year-old Day finished as the leading Australian, it was the first time the Queenslander has finished outside the top 10 in four occasions at the first leg of US PGA Tour's Hawaiian swing.

Veteran Rod Pampling was next best of the Australians, with his 11-under total enough to share 17th.

Aaron Baddeley was a further five shots back in a tie for 25th, while Greg Chalmers rounded out the Australian contingent alone in 28th place at five under.

The Tournament of Champions is the first US PGA Tour event of the year and is a 32-man tournament fot last year's tour winners.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon