Third straight win in Malaysia would be Justin-credible
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.