Thomas confirms CIMB Classic title defence

Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images

PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas will return to defend his title in the CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur this October 12 to 15.

Thomas’ win at the PGA Championship was his fourth of the season, which began with him capturing the CIMB Classic in 2016 by three shots over Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama. He was able to overcome a four-shot deficit to Anirban Lahiri entering the final round to win his second straight CIMB Classic and second PGA Tour event.

The early season win was a springboard for Thomas as he won the two Hawaiian events, the Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open in Hawaii in January. At the latter event, he opened with 59 to become the youngest player in PGA Tour history to record a sub-60 round. His 253 total at that event also set a new scoring record for a 72-hole tournament.

The 24-year-old Thomas wasn’t done yet, as he was able to capture his first Major championship at the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina last week, winning by two shots over Francesco Molinari, Patrick Reed and Louis Oosthuizen.

“We knew Justin Thomas was destined for great things after picking up his first two PGA Tour wins at the CIMB Classic two years in a row,” said Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, Group Chief Executive of CIMB Group.

“Justin has not only showcased a solid, consistent game since the start of the PGA TOUR, but also set a few new records along the way. And this October, golf fans in Malaysia will have the chance to watch Justin live as he goes for his third straight win against another strong field at a world-class venue in TPC Kuala Lumpur.”

With his fourth win of the season, Thomas moved ahead of Dustin Johnson, Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth who each have recorded three wins this season. Thomas’ strong play this year means he will represent the US Team at the 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey. This will be is his first appearance in either a Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup team.

The CIMB Classic, now in its eighth year, will feature a 78-player elite field, comprising 60 from the PGA Tour, 10 from the Asian Tour and eight sponsor’s exemptions. The PGA Tour player commitment deadline for the tournament is September 20, 2017. Co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Association of Malaysia, the event is part of the season-long PGA TOUR FedExCup competition. Malaysia will have two representatives – Danny Chia, the winner of the CIMB National Championship (formerly the SapuraKencana National Qualifier) and the highest ranked Malaysian golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking as of October 2, 2017.

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