8am Round-Up: Back-to-back titles for Thomas as Knox breaks $1M barrier

Justin Thomas celebrates his record-breaking win in the Sony Open in Hawaii. Picture: Getty Images
Justin Thomas celebrates his record-breaking win in the Sony Open in Hawaii. Picture: Getty Images
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Justin Thomas completed an “unbelievable week” by claiming back-to-back wins on the PGA Tour in Hawaii as Russell Knox broke through the $1 million barrier for the season after just five events.

In winning the Sony Open in Honolulu - he finished seven shots ahead of Olympic gold medallist Justin Rose with world No 5 Jordan Spieth a shot further back - with a 27-under-par 253 aggregate, Thomas set a new 72-hole record for the US circuit.

The wire-to-wire win, which came hot on the heels of an equally impressive success in the SBS Tournament of Champions at Kapalua seven days earlier, saw the 23-year-old become the youngest player to card a 59 with his opening salvo at Waialae Country Club.

Thomas also set the lowest 36-hole total - 123- in PGA Tour history before equalling the record of 188 for the 54-hole mark.

“It’s awesome, it’s been an unbelievable week, unforgettable,” said Thomas after signing off with a 65, which included an early bogey at the fourth before carding birdies at the eighth and ninth to settle any nerves. He then stormed home in 31 after picking up further shots at the 11th, 12th, 14th and 18th.

“I was really nervous (before the round),” added Thomas, who has now won three times in five PGA Tour events this season and four times in total. “I just had a hard time getting in a comfortable mindframe.

“I felt like I was doing what I needed to do and making some pars, besides that bad bogey on four, but a par putt I made on six was huge.”

The previous lowest 72-hole score was 254, made by Tommy Armour III as he clinched victory in the 2003 Valero Texas Open.

“I remember someone saying in a press conference I needed 10 under over the weekend, so I told Jimmy (caddie Jimmy Johnson) with two holes left, I was like ‘we need to get one of these last two’. It’s awesome,” admitted Thomas.

Knox tied for 11th after a closing 69 for 14-under. The Scottish No 1 was two-over after 11 before picking up three birdies in the last seven holes

With three top 10s and five top 25s in five starts so far this season on the PGA Tour’s wraparound schedule, he is sitting eighth in the FedEx Cup with earnings of $1,038,334

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Chile’s Toto Gana won the third Latin America Amateur Championship with a birdie on the second play-off hole in Panama.

The victory earns him an invitation to the 2017 Masters Tournament in April, as well as exemptions into The Amateur Championship and the US Amateur Championship.

He also secures spots in final qualifying for The 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale and the 2017 US Open at Erin Hills.

Gana beat compatriot Joaquin Niemann and Mexican Alvaro Ortiz in the sudden-death shoot-out after the trio had finished locked together in Panama City on one-under-par 279.

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Colin Montgomerie started his 2017 campaign by finishing joint-14th in the Diamond Resorts Invitational in Florida.

The big Scot ended up with 78 points in the Stableford event, which was won by Woody Austin with 104 points.

Montgomerie finished alongside Senior Open champion Paul Broadhurst, the pair picking up cheques for $17,500.

Former Masters champion Ian Woosnam was the leading British player in a share of eighth, winning $28,000.

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Craig Lawrie eagled the last to finish second, picking up a cheque for just over £1100, in the Algarve Pro Tour’s Quinta North Classic.

The Aberdonian carded a brace of 69s at Quinta do Lago for a six-under-par total, finishing a shot behind Englishman Jamie Abbot in an event featuring 67 players.

Craig, Paul’s oldest son, came home in 32, having covered the same stretch in just one shot more in the opening round.

“ I got off to poor starts on both days, having been +2 through four then +2 after six,” said Lawrie, who warmed up for the 2017 season with his dad and younger brother, Michael, out in Abu Dhabi over the festive period.

“But I really solid after that and hit an 8-iron to a foot for eagle at the par-5 last to give me second on my own.”

Among those to finish behind Lawrie were Irishman Cormac Sharvin and Englishman Jimmy Mullen, both members of the GB&I winning Walker Cup team in 2014.

“I have two more events out here at Penina and Palmares before heading home,” added Lawrie.

Portugal-based Scot Jay Taylor (69-71) finished seventh while Wallace Booth ended up in a share of 26th on his debut on the mini-circuit after rounds of 77 and 71.

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Richard Green pipped fellow Australian Todd Sinnott for top spot in the Asian Tour Qualifying School in Bangkok.

Green, a three-time European Tour winner, birdied the first hole in a play-off to come out on top after the pair had finished tied on 28-under-par - a record for the event - at Suvarnabhumi Golf and Country.

Banchory’s James Byrne, who was hampered by a bout of food poisoning, finished joint-115th on 286.

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The Edinburgh & East of Scotland Alliance will try again at Gullane this week after seeing a scheduled event on the No 2 course last Wednesday cancelled due to high winds.

“Thanks to Gullane Golf Club, they have allowed us to re-schedule to this Wednesday and it looks like we have a much better forecast,” reported secretary Alan Greenshields.

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Spaniards dominated an Algarve Senior Circuit event at Pinheiros Altos and Laranjal.

Thanks to a last-hole birdie Pedro Linhart pipped compatriot Miguel Angel Martin by a shot witha 72-hole total of 279, nine-under-par.

Andrew Oldcorn finished as leading Scot on 294, one better that Stewart Savage.