Justin Thomas' Keys to Victory at the CIMB Classic

Justin Thomas’ Keys to Victory at the CIMB Classic

Justin Thomas, right, of the United States celebrates after winning the CIMB Classic golf tournament at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Joshua
AP Photo/Joshua Paul


Thomas topped the field with 30 birdies through four rounds, a feat accomplished by just 8 other players since 1997. He made at least one birdie on 17 of the 18 holes, missing on only the par-4 second, where he made four straight pars.  


Thomas carded just 104 putts on route to his course-record setting 26-under, 262, including 36 one-putts and zero three putts.  


Going back to the first round of last season’s John Deere Classic, Thomas has posted a cumulative score of 97-under par in his last nine tournaments. The streak includes four top-5 finishes, total earnings of $1.8 million and has propelled Thomas from 99th in the World Rankings to No. 30 today. That ranking not only gets him a guaranteed start in this season’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions and the Players Championship, but also the Masters and the PGA.   

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23 years, 6 months

The average age of the first three winners — Emiliano Grillo, Smylie Kaufman and Justin Thomas — of the 2015-16 PGA Tour season, marking the second year in a row (following Sang-Moon Blue, Ben Martin & Robert Streb last season) and just the fifth time since 1970 that the first three winners were in their 20s.  


That’s the number that Thomas and runner-up Adam Scott posted on the back nine on Sunday, a mark third-place finisher Kevin Na couldn’t match, resulting in the third straight tournament that’s seen Na fall off the pace over the closing holes.