Justin Thomas surrendered most of a five-stroke lead on the back nine on Sunday, but recovered expertly and won the SBS Tournament of Champions by three strokes on the Plantation Course at Kapalua, Hawaii.
Thomas, 23, bogeyed the 10th hole and double-bogeyed the par-5 15th, allowing Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama to pull within a stroke. But Thomas rallied with birdies at 17 and 18 to post his second PGA Tour victory of the season, third of his career and his first in the U.S.
Thomas closed with a four-under par 69 and a 72-hole score of 22-under par 280. Matsuyama, who was seeking his fifth win in his last six starts internationally, finished second to Thomas for the second time in those six events. In October, Thomas defeated him in the CIMB Classic. Matsuyama closed with a three-under par 70.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth equaled the best rounds of the week, an eight-under par 65 that gave him a share of third place with Pat Perez and Ryan Moore. Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Brendan Steele tied for sixth.