Thomas wins CJ Cup in playoff as Golf Channel loses live coverage

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Justin Thomas beat Marc Leishman in a playoff to win the inaugural CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges Sunday. The problem? Nobody saw it happen live.

Thomas and Leishman were in a sudden-death playoff after finishing all square at 9 under at Nine Bridges in Jeju Island, Korea. They went back to No. 18 and each made par on the first playoff hole, and that was all live television viewers saw. Problem being, Golf Channel’s coverage reverted back to the replay and began showing the end of the final round in regulation while the playoff was occurring.

Golf Channel issued the following statement:

“The satellite path of the television feed provided by tournament organizers stopped feeding at 2:30 a.m. ET. Golf Channel personnel immediately alerted the tournament production group to the problem. We apologize to our loyal viewers who stayed up late to watch coverage live.”

Thomas made an easy birdie on the second playoff hole to win after shooting 9-under 279 for the week. That gives him a win in his second start this season after earning Player of the Year honors with five victories in 2016-17. It came in the first-ever CJ Cup, an event which drew a good field and deserved better than the botched televised finish.

Thomas had a chance to win in regulation after a beautiful approach to the par-5 18th, sliding his eagle putt past the cup to settle for birdie and fall into a playoff with Leishman, who went wire-to-wire to win the BMW Championship in Chicago last month.

Golf Channel’s broadcast began showing delayed coverage of the second sudden-death playoff hole at 2:55 a.m. EDT, airing Leishman putting his approach shot in the water and Thomas taking advantage with a stellar second shot into the green about 15 minutes after the fact. They apologized for the technical difficulties.

Thomas shot even-par 72 in the final round while Leishman fired 2-under 70 to get in the playoff.

Cameron Smith finished alone in third at 8 under and Korean Kim Meen-whee was fourth at 6 under.

It was a fun event at a new course with plenty of big names. It’s just a shame nobody saw the thrilling conclusion unfold in real time.

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