Third straight win in Malaysia would be Justin-cred­i­ble

Sport360 - - News Golf - By Staff Re­porter @Sport360 edi­to­

Justin Thomas hopes to ride a wave of re­cent suc­cess to the “un­be­liev­able achieve­ment” of a third win in a row at Malaysia’s CIMB Clas­sic.

The Amer­i­can is the man of the mo­ment after a su­perb sea­son dur­ing which he racked up five wins in­clud­ing a maiden ma­jor vic­tory and was named the 2017 PGA Tour Player of the Year.

“It would be an un­be­liev­able achieve­ment.” Thomas said of the CIMB Clas­sic. “It’s so hard to win out here and there’s so many great play­ers – it would be awe­some.”

Thomas clinched his maiden PGA Tour ti­tle at the 2015 CIMB Clas­sic with a 26-un­der-par 262, and tri­umphed against a tough chal­lenge from Ja­pan’s Hideki Mat­suyama to win in 2016.

World No3 Mat­suyama will likely be the 24-year-old’s main ri­val again at the event this year. The 25-year-old has been in good form with six ti­tles over the past year, in­clud­ing two World Golf Cham­pi­onships tour­na­ments.

“Hope­fully I can play well again and just have as good a sea­son. It is very im­por­tant to play well in the opening events,” he said.

Other se­ri­ous con­tenders in­clude India’s Anir­ban Lahiri, a win­ner at the 2015 Malaysia Open, English­man Paul Casey and Xan­der Schauf­fele from the US.

But Thomas be­lieves he has a good omen in Jimmy John­son, who was Steve Stricker’s cad­die when he clinched his third suc­ces­sive won at the John Deere Clas­sic in 2011.

“I’m hop­ing that (John­son) is the rea­son for the ‘three-peat’ and we can get some good vibes through him,” said Thomas.

A Clas­sic apart: Justin Thomas.

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