Lee Westwood’s try at capturing his second profession PGA Tour title resulted in one other battling defeat after the 47-year-old Englishman was overwhelmed by one stroke by Justin Thomas at The Gamers Championship in Florida.
Westwood suffered the frustration of being the bridesmaid for the second successive week, following his one-shot loss by the hands of Bryson DeChambeau at Bay Hill, after Thomas shot weekend rounds of 64 and 68 to complete on 14 below par, whereas Westwood closed with a level-par 72 to complete outright second on 13 below, one shot forward of DeChambeau.
Westwood led heading into Sunday’s motion at TPC Sawgrass in what was billed as a Bay Hill rematch, with he and DeChambeau within the last pairing. The Englishman birdied the primary to get a leap on his rival, however then issues unravelled for each gamers, with Westwood bogeying the second after discovering water off the tee, earlier than slicing his tee shot on the fourth into one other water hazard, however solely after DeChambeau had topped his tee shot 100 yards into a unique pond. DeChambeau then leaked his third shot onto the cart path earlier than making a beautiful restoration to flee with double bogey, whereas Westwood tidied up for only one dropped shot of his personal.
The world quantity six birdied the seventh earlier than each dropped once more at eight, however when Westwood reclaimed his two-shot lead with a birdie at 9 it appeared like the remainder of the sphere had did not capitalise on their struggles.
However Thomas, in the meantime, surged into high spot after going birdie, birdie, eagle, birdie to achieve 14 below par after 12 holes and provides himself a two-stroke lead. A missed three-foot putt on the 14th, his first from inside that distance this season, noticed the 27-year-old American’s benefit reduce to at least one, earlier than Westwood drew stage with an outstanding birdie at 14, just for Thomas to carry his nerve and edge clear as soon as extra with a birdie at 16.
DeChambeau eagled the identical gap to maneuver inside two of Thomas, however couldn’t shut the hole additional and was left to rue his early double bogey.
Westwood was solely in a position to par the par-five sixteenth, following two journeys to the sand, and when he three-putted from 30 ft on the enduring seventeenth, the title was all however gone as Thomas parred final to want his rivals needing eagles to pressure a play-off. Battling to the final, Westwood birdied the 18th to present himself outright second, and earn one other monster pay day which is able to safe his place within the European Ryder Cup workforce, one in all his said targets for the season.
Westwood, who turns 48 subsequent month, mentioned he felt like age was catching up with him on the ultimate day in Florida. He mentioned: “I didn’t fairly have my sport right this moment. On Saturday I felt like my legs have been simply getting a bit drained and weak, and right this moment I didn’t really feel like I had my legs below me. I used to be hitting photographs I don’t often hit. I battled all day, made some good putts. I barely disenchanted I didn’t win, however you’ll be able to’t be too sad with a second place on the Gamers Championship. It simply exhibits I’m enjoying very well and my sport remains to be adequate to win out right here. It’s one thing to work on and hopefully I recharge the battery and hold this run going.”
American Brian Harman made three birdies on the again 9 to additionally end two again at 12 below alongside DeChambeau in tied third, whereas Paul Casey threatened to problem, however his 5 birdies have been offset by three bogeys to depart him at 11 below in tied fifth with American Taler Gooch. Shane Lowry completed eighth, whereas early frontrunners Sergio Garcia and Matt Fitzpatrick completed tied ninth after each closing with 72s, alongside Frenchman Victor Perez, who fired a last spherical 67.
For the ultimate leaderboard from The Gamers Championship, click on right here.
Justin Thomas’s successful gear
Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 levels)
Fairway woods: Titleist TS3 (15), Titleist 915 Fd (18)
Irons: Titleist T100 (4), Titleist 620 MB (5-9)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (47.5, 52.5), Vokey SM8 (57), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks (60.5)
Putter: Scotty Cameron X5.5 Tour Prototype
Ball: 2021 Titleist Professional V1x