Justin Thomas hangs on to win BMW Championship, jumps to top of FedExCup standings

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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/pga/players/10701/" data-ylk="slk:Justin Thomas">Justin Thomas</a> held on Sunday to claim the BMW Championship, jumping him to the top of the FedExCup standings. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Justin Thomas held on Sunday to claim the BMW Championship, jumping him to the top of the FedExCup standings. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Though several players tried to catch him, Justin Thomas’ lead was simply too big.

Thomas held on Sunday at the Medinah Country Club near Chicago, finishing with a 4-under 68 to win the BMW Championship, his first win of the season.

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"I was really nervous today. It's hard to play with a lead," Thomas said, via the Associated Press. "You don't know how often things like this will happen, and it feels great."

Thomas started out slow on Sunday, bogeying his opening hole. He carded two more birdies on his opening nine, however, bringing him to 1-under at the turn. While he made bogey on No. 10, an incredible approach from the rough on the next hole quickly offset it.

"The birdie on 11 was huge," Thomas said. "That propelled me for the rest of the round."

He then made birdie on the par-3 13th after an impressive tee shot landed him just feet from the hole.

Thomas made one more birdie on No. 15 and another on No. 18 to seal his three-shot win and bring him to 25-under par on the week.

Both Patrick Cantlay and Hideki Matsuyama made a push on Sunday to try and catch the 26-year-old. Cantlay finished with a 7-under 65, and Matsuyama fired a 9-under 63 to bring him to 20-under on the week. The two finished in second and third, respectively.

Thomas erupted on Saturday, firing an 11-under 61 to tie a Medinah Country Club course record. The 26-year-old started his round with five straight birdies and then dropped two eagles on the back nine, grabbing a six-stroke lead heading into the final round.

Sunday’s victory marked Thomas’ 10th career win on the PGA Tour, and launched him to the top of the FedExCup standings ahead of next week’s Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. The top 30 in the FedExCup standings will advance to the final Tour event of the season.

Tiger Woods fails to reach Tour Championship

Tiger Woods’ impressive push on Saturday simply wasn’t enough.

Despite two birdies in his first five holes, Woods finished with an even-par 72 on Sunday at the BMW Championship to bring him to 7-under on the week. That performance moves him to No. 42 in the FedExCup Standings, outside of the top-30 finish required to advance to next week’s Tour Championship, the tournament Woods win last year to mark his first PGA Tour triumph since 2013.

After a pair of rough opening rounds in Medinah, Woods rallied on Saturday. He fired a bogey-free 5-under 67 in the third round — marking his first bogey-free round since last year’s third round at the BMW Championship — and climbed 17 spots on the leaderboard, which gave him a fighting chance on Sunday. He needed to finish inside the top 11 to advance, however, which was still a tall task.

“(It was a) little bit frustrating,” Woods said, via the PGA Tour. “I didn’t have the short game I needed to make a run. I made too many bogeys around the greens … The short game was most disappointing. I wasn’t very good.”

The 43-year-old had a rollercoaster season this year on Tour. He played in just 11 official events, and frequently jumped from major championship to major championship. While he won The Masters in April, Woods missed the cut at both the PGA Championship and The Open Championship. He withdrew from The Northern Trust — the first of three playoff stops — last week, too, after an opening-round 75.

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