Justin Thomas holds off Spieth for 5th PGA Tour win this season

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Here is a recap of the final round of the Dell Technologies Championship, played at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass.:

WINNER: Justin Thomas can’t stop winning.

A day after an 8-under 63 that included 12 3s pushed Thomas into a share of the lead, the 24-year-old closed matters out. Thomas cruised to a 5-under 66 Monday at TPC Boston to reach 17 under and secure a three-shot victory.

This win comes less than a month after capturing the PGA Championship for his first major title, and marks his fifth on the 2016-17 PGA Tour season.

Thomas certainly got a battle for this one, as Jordan Spieth rocketed out into the solo lead after beginning his round birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie. But Thomas held strong. A birdie at No. 2 was followed by a stellar drive to the fringe at the par-4 fourth, and he proceeded to bury the 32-footer for an eagle to tie the lead at 15 under.

It would be a fight between he, Spieth and Marc Leishman from there, but Thomas took control in the middle of the back nine. One back of Spieth on the 13th, Thomas knocked his approach to 8 feet and rolled in the putt for birdie and a share. He was the outright leader when Spieth bogeyed 14, and Thomas pushed his lead to two after stuffing his second at 15 to 4 feet and rolling in the birdie putt.

Thomas had to knock in a 6-footer for par at No. 16 to retain his two-shot lead, but he did just that. Spieth also missed a 9-footer for birdie at 17 (he couldn’t believe the ball didn’t break left at the end as it trundled over the right edge) that would’ve made matters tighter.

A simple par at 17 followed for Thomas for him to carry a two-shot lead to 18. It was all but sealed when Spieth bogeyed the closing par 5 to give Thomas a three-shot lead. Thomas made an easy par to close out the win.

This is Thomas’ sixth career PGA Tour title, and one would think he is now the front-runner for PGA Tour Player of the Year – nobody has as many wins as Thomas this season (five) and he has a major among those.

Whatever the case, if you thought Thomas would relax after his PGA Championship win … this has proved that theory incorrect.

JUST MISSED: Spieth began the day two shots back and came out absolutely scorching with his 5-under through four start. He also birdied the seventh to be 6 under on his round at that point. He would go out in 6-under 30.

But Spieth stalled from there. He made three bogeys against one birdie the rest of the way for a closing 2-over 37. And even with that 6-under cushion from the front nine, it wasn’t going to be enough on a day when birdies were flying everywhere. Even as Spieth opened in 30, he didn’t lead, as 54-hole co-leader Leishman also went out in 30. The Aussie was two ahead at 18 under before opening the back nine bogey-bogey-bogey. He also closed the round bogey-bogey.

Spieth finished in solo second at 14 under after a closing 67. Leishman came in solo third at 13 under with a final-round 70.

SHORT SHOTS: Jon Rahm, the 36-hole leader, didn’t have a great weekend, but he hangs in there for a tie for fourth at 12 under. … Patrick Reed places in a tie for sixth at 11 under after a final-round 66. … So does Phil Mickelson thanks to a closing 68. A great week for Lefty, who seems to have his energy back. … Rickie Fowler finishes in a tie for 13th at 8 under. … Dustin Johnson places T-18 at 7 under. … Jason Day closes in 66 to salvage a T-25 finish. Still, he was looking for better, we imagine. … Grayson Murray plummets on the final day, posting a 6-over 77 to drop from a tie for fourth to T-25 at 4 under.

Only the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings move on to the third playoff event after this week. Bubba Watson was one of a few main notables who started outside the top 70 and couldn’t fight his way in. Watson started the week 72nd in the standings but finished 75th after a T-69 performance at TPC Boston. Thus, Watson saw his 2016-17 PGA Tour season end this week.

Adam Scott suffered the same fate to his season, as the Aussie missed the cut and dropped from 73rd to 79th. Patrick Rodgers fell from 75th to 78th thanks to a T-73 showing to see his exit from the 2016-17 season.

As for the movers in and out, three players from outside the top 70 moved inside that number this week to keep their seasons alive. Three from inside the top 70 fell out and saw their seasons end.

The three who jumped in to move onto the BMW Championship: Stewart Cink (81st to 57th, solo 12th at 9 under), Rafa Cabrera-Bello (80th to 60th, T-18 at 7 under) and Emiliano Grillo (77th to 62nd, solo 22nd at 6 under thanks to a closing 66).

The three who were kicked out and saw their seasons end: Russell Knox (65th to 71st, T-61 at 3 over), Kelly Kraft (64th to 72nd, withdrew after a miserable Friday that included a 12) and Brandt Snedeker (68th to somewhere outside top 70, exact projection is unclear because he’s not in field after shutting things down indefinitely due to health problems. So his season was over anyway.)

UP NEXT: For the first time in forever, the PGA Tour takes a week off. The third playoff event, the BMW Championship, will be contested in two weeks at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Ill.

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