Justin Thomas recorded a 5-under 65 on Sunday and moved up to No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings by claiming a three-stroke victory at the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tenn.
Thomas finished at 13-under 267 on his four trips around TPC Southwind to pick up his 13th career PGA Tour victory.
Thomas was No. 3 in the World entering the tournament. Spain’s Jon Rahm was on top and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlory was second.
“Right now I’m obviously very happy and elated that we got it done today,” Thomas told reporters, “but I need to work on some things and get ready for the PGA (Championship) next week and try to win another major.”
Daniel Berger (65 on Sunday), Phil Mickelson (67), Brooks Koepka (69) and England’s Tom Lewis (66) tied for second at 10 under.
Koepka had the opportunity to finish alone in second — or catch Thomas with a birdie — but double-bogeyed the par-4, 18th hole.
Thomas delivered six birdies and one bogey. He had four birdies on the front nine, slipped up with a bogey on No. 12, and positioned himself for the victory with birdies on 15 and 16.
Thomas won with Jim “Bones” McKay filling in as the caddie for Jimmy Johnson, who is away due to illness.
“He did what a lot of great caddies do and they let the player do it,” Thomas said. “There’s a reason why they’re the best and he did an unbelievable job this week, especially for being in that situation, which we had never been in that together. You know, every player and caddie handles it differently.
“Jimmy’s the best at that for me and with me, but I unfortunately didn’t have him here with me today. I was thinking about him out there. I’m hoping he’s doing better, but, you know, Bones did a great job and I was very lucky that he has been there a lot more than I have, so he handled the situation well.”
Koepka was 2-over for the final three holes to sabotage his chances of catching Thomas.
He had a bogey on the par-5, 16th hole and recovered with a birdie on the par-4, No. 17 before the disastrous final hole in which he knew he needed a birdie to force a playoff.
“To be honest with you, I thought I hit a good chip on 16. I don’t know what it did,” Koepka said while recapping the final stretch. “Then another minute I thought it was in for another second. So to make bogey there was disappointing. Obviously drained a big one on 17 and then you’re down one. You’ve got to take an aggressive line on 18, so it is what it is.”
Mickelson played bogey-free golf and made three birdies on Sunday. Berger had seven birdies and two bogeys and Lewis had six birdies and two bogeys. Koepka had four birdies with his bogey and double.
Xander Schauffele (66), Australia’s Jason (67), Ireland’s Shane Lowry (67), Chez Reavie (68), South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen (68) and England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick (68) tied for sixth at 9-under 271.
Dustin Johnson (67) was part of a three-way tie for 12th at 272, while Rick Fowler (73) tied for 16th at 7 under and Bryson DeChambeau (67) and Jordan Spieth (71) were among the golfers who tied for 30th at 276.
McIlroy (67) and Patrick Reed (70) tied for 47th place at 1 under, while Rahm (66) tied for 52nd at 1-over 281.