Justin Thomas didn’t have the end of the week in Malaysia that he was looking for, but that won’t stop him from getting right back in the thick of things at the PGA TOUR’s newest event. Other than the WGC-HSBC Champions, the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges will likely be Thomas’s last start of the fall, and he’ll be looking to close out the 2017 calendar year with a bang.
Thomas’s season-opening T-17 at TPC Kuala Lumpur wasn’t as disheartening as the final leaderboard may have looked. Sure, he finished 13 shots behind winner Pat Perez, but he picked his game up considerably after he settled in. His biggest problem was avoiding the big number. With eight bogeys and two doubles, it’s easy to imagine a scenario in which Thomas was at least fighting for a top-ten finish, if not something significantly better.
While there are players in this field who have gotten off to hotter starts than Thomas, I’m looking for his overall talent – and a little bit more of that killer instinct – to carry him through the debut edition of the CJ Cup. Thomas led the TOUR in putting average and ranked third in adjusted scoring last year. Look for more big things from him this week, and the rest of the year.