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BMW Championship 2019: Justin Thomas Cruises to Win Ahead of Patrick Cantlay

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2019

MEDINAH, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 18: Justin Thomas of the United States reacts to his par on the 12th hole during the final round of the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club No. 3 on August 18, 2019 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

After setting a course record in Round 3, Justin Thomas closed out the win at the BMW Championship with a 68 in his final round at Medinah Country Club. 

Saturday's heroics gave Thomas a six-stroke cushion going into Sunday, giving the American what he needed to cruise through Round 4 and finish 25 strokes under par for the tournament. He finished three shots ahead of Patrick Cantlay in second place while securing his first title of 2019.

The effort was also enough to put him into first place in the FedEx Cup standings heading into next week's Tour Championship, where he will start 10 strokes under par.

         

Final Leaderboard

1. Justin Thomas (-25)

2. Patrick Cantlay (-22)

3. Hideki Matsuyama (-20)

4. Tony Finau (-18)

T5. Jon Rahm (-16)

T5. Brandt Snedeker (-16)

T7. Corey Conners (-15)

T7. Lucas Glover (-15)

T9. Adam Scott (-13)

T9. Kevin Kisner (-13)

Full leaderboard and stats available at PGATour.com.

          

A 54-hole lead of six strokes often leads to a quiet final round where the only question is how wide the final margin will be for the winner. That was not the case despite the large gap going into Sunday.

Thomas began the day with a bogey and kept the door open when he struggled to find the birdies he was getting earlier in the week.

Cantlay provided a serious challenge throughout the round, getting four birdies on the front nine and finishing with nine total in Round 4. He was smooth in all aspects of his game Sunday on his way to a 65:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Game on. Patrick Cantlay is four back with nine to play. #QuickHits https://t.co/fmmfcSxiim

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

It's getting interesting at Medinah. Patrick Cantlay has cut the lead to two. #QuickHits https://t.co/8YNjHzKzlb

Hideki Matsuyama was also on fire despite beginning the final round 10 strokes off the pace. He shot 63 in Round 2 but followed it up with a 73 in Round 3 that seemingly put him out of contention. 

The Japanese star didn't let the long odds stop him from bouncing back with an incredible effort in Round 4:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

🐦 Par Par Par 🐦 🐦 🐦 Par 🐦 Hideki Matsuyama is 9 holes away from qualifying for his sixth straight @playofffinale. #QuickHits https://t.co/aJcCHgsk2e

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Hideki Matsuyama is trying to do more than just make it to East Lake. He's three back. #QuickHits https://t.co/OXVT8gv4SK

He ended up shooting 63 in the final round, putting him one awful third round away from a title. 

This kept the pressure on Thomas, although he was still able to come through with big shots when needed, including this excellent approach from the rough on No. 11:

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

Buried in rough = Nearly holing out? That's not normal, @JustinThomas34 😲 https://t.co/fsxb25KLJR

Birdies on holes 13 and 15 helped give him more breathing room as he closed out the round.

The 26-year-old ended the day with one more birdie to win the championship:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Just in time. @JustinThomas34 has earned his first win of the year @BMWChamps and the 10th of his career. He's No. 1 in the #FedExCup heading to East Lake. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/uDKBsKVUsK

The win also put him in rare territory considering his age:

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

10+ @PGATOUR wins including a major before age 27, last 75 years: @jacknicklaus @TigerWoods @McIlroyRory @JordanSpieth @JustinThomas34 #BMWChamps #FedExCup

Meanwhile, there was also drama further down the leaderboard with every player trying to get into the top 30 of the FedEx Cup standings to advance to the Tour Championship.

Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth each could have gotten into the next level of the playoffs with a good tournament, but both finished outside the mark with a score of seven under for the tournament, tying for 37th overall.

In the end, it was Jason Kokrak who got the final spot after finishing in a tie for 19th. This helped him jump from 32 to No. 30 in the projected standings. 

Those who made the cut will now try to end the year on a high note with the Tour Championship next week at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.