Justin Thomas won the Sentry Tournament of Champions, and he still doesn’t know how. He lost a two-shot lead with three holes to play. He had to play the par-5 18th hole four times Sunday and always seemed to be scrambling just to stay in the game in a three-man playoff.
On the third playoff hole — the last one before darkness — Thomas recovered from another poor shot with a sand wedge that illustrates why his short game is among the best in golf. He played a high cut from 113 yards that landed just over the ridge with enough spin to settle 3 feet away for birdie.
The thrill-a-minute start to the year on the PGA Tour ended with Thomas chopping his way to bogey on the 18th, getting another chance when Xander Schauffele three-putted for par on the final hole in regulation to force a playoff, and then twice having to watch Patrick Reed stand over a putt to win.
Reed, who never had the lead all day, had a 30-foot eagle putt and a 12-foot birdie putt in the playoff to win. His last chance was an 8-foot birdie with Thomas in tight, and it was too strong.