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The Shorty: Wonder Years

Justin Thomas

Americans woke up Sunday to a result that is becoming increasingly familiar – Justin Thomas winning on the PGA Tour.

In his second start of the new wraparound season, the Tour’s reigning player of the year captured the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges, a first-time event in South Korea. The 24-year-old Kentuckian defeated Australian Marc Leishman on the second playoff hole after Leishman rinsed his second shot on said hole, the par-5 18th at the Club at Nine Bridges.

The victory was Thomas’ seventh on the PGA Tour and fifth this calendar year, earning him a well-deserved break until the unofficial Hero World Challenge, the Tiger Woods-hosted gathering that tees off the week after Thanksgiving in the Bahamas.

Speaking of hosts, Sergio García captured his Spanish shindig, the Andalucía Valderrama Masters, at the estimable Real Club Valderrama on Sunday. The victory burnished an already memorable year for the 37-year-old Spaniard that has included victories in Dubai and Augusta, Ga., not to mention a wedding in Texas and the recent announcement of a baby on the way. He is second in the Race to Dubai Rankings, within striking distance of leader Tommy Fleetwood, as the European Tour enters its season-ending stretch.

In Taipei, Eun Hee-Ji won the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship in a walk. Thanks in part to a minor swing adjustment that bore fruit, the 31-year-old South Korean outpaced former world No. 1 Lydia Ko by six strokes. The victory was her first since the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open. And though Ko remains winless this year, she posted her third top-five finish in five starts, an indication that the 20-year-old Kiwi is intent to recapture her perch atop the world rankings.




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