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Justin Thomas wins Players Championship to claim his 14th PGA Tour title

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Thomas was seven shots off the lead after 36 holes and still three behind Lee Westwood heading into the final round, but he followed a 64 on Saturday with a 68 on Sunday to claim a 14th PGA Tour title and the £1.9million first prize.

At 14 under par, Thomas won by a single shot from Westwood, who birdied the 18th to edge ahead of playing partner Bryson DeChambeau and Brian Harman, with Paul Casey and Talor Gooch another shot back.

The victory makes Thomas just the fourth player to win the Players Championship, a major championship, a World Golf Championships event and the FedEx Cup after Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut in the defence of his title.

“It’s a lot harder than when there weren’t fans here, that’s for sure,” Thomas, who fought back tears when asked about the recent death of his grandfather, told the Golf Channel.

“I’m so happy they’re back and I’m so happy to be a Players champion. I fought so hard today, I stayed really patient, probably one of the best rounds of my life tee to green, (I had) total control of the ball.

“I was hitting a lot of good putts, just wasn’t holing anything and I stayed patient. I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff happen on this back nine on TV in the past so I was glad to be on the better side of it this year.”

Thomas: “I fought so hard today”

/ Getty Images

The former US PGA champion, who was dropped by sponsor Ralph Lauren after using a homophobic slur mid-round in Hawaii in January, was one over par for his round after following seven straight pars with a three-putt bogey on the eighth.

But the 27-year-old then birdied the ninth and 10th, made an eagle from 20 feet on the 11th and birdied the 12th after smashing his tee shot over the green on the driveable par four.

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