Justin Thomas has won the World Golf Championship – Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, for his ninth career victory, his third of the current US PGA season, and importantly, the week ahead of his first Major victory in winning the 2017 US PGA Championship.
Jason Day must be kicking himself in the aftermath. Day started the day four shots off the lead. After a disappointing 36 on the front half, including a bogey six at the par five second hole, Day seemed to have righted the ship when he birdied the first three holes om the inward half.
He gave two of those back immediately with consecutive bogeys on the 13th and 14th holes. Then came a par three at the 15th.
Thing fell apart entirely on the par five 16th hole, the fabled Green Monster, a 648 yard par five, where he dunked an easy chip on his third shot into the pond at the front of the green. He wound up taking a double bogey seven before finishing off bogey – par for a disappointing 73.
After three rounds in the 60s over the first three days, it was not the sort of finish Day anticipated. He is still in fine shape for the FedEx Cup playoffs that tee off later in August and as a two-time winner this season, he might be reasonably content, if it were not for the high expectations he places on himself.
Marc Leishman started the day just one shot behind Day, but he shot a 73 as well, so like Day, he will be left wondering what might have been.
Leishman has been quietly taking care of business all season, though, and he is a lock to make the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Followers of the game will recall that Leishman made quite a bit of noise in the playoffs last year, when he won the BMW Championship, the third event in the four-tournament series that closes out the year.