The most exciting part was the fact I felt better than I did last week and was able to hit the driver and I drove the eyes out of it for me.
But Thomas steadied with clutch play over the next three holes, twice holing putts of around 12 feet to re-establish his authority.
Thomas closed with a 4-under 68 for a three-shot victory over Patrick Cantlay, who shot 65 and will be the No. 2 seed. "I was happy to stay patient and come though victorious in the end", said Thomas.
But he has the Masters, and that is a pretty good way to look back on the 2019 season. It kept me focused, kept my head down.
"I was really nervous today".
The victory, the first for Thomas since the World Golf Championship at Firestone a year ago, gives him a two-shot lead starting the Tour Championship next week as the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup chase the $15 million prize.
"I've never slept on a Wednesday lead", Thomas joked about starting a first round already leading.
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The Netherlands captain was a formidable presence throughout the Reds' run to Champions League glory in Madrid in June. In the domestic leagues , he scored 4 goals.
Cantlay, who made four straight birdies around the turn, secured the No. 2 position and will start at 8 under.
Two weeks after summiting the mountain, J.T. Poston walked off the 18th green at Medinah Country Club with visible frustration that broke through on even his otherwise placid visage.
Among those to miss out on next week's Tour Championship were Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth. Only Rickie Fowler in 2010 and Chesson Hadley in 2014 were named top rookies without qualifying for the Tour Championship. East Lake was his first victory in five years, capping his return from four back surgeries, a special moment replaced some six months later by his Masters victory.
"It was nice. That's something that was just a little bit of a bonus". "From what I understand, I get to go to Augusta next year".
The 26-year-old produced an otherworldly performance in the third round, setting a course record of 61 to head into the final day with a six-stroke lead.
Only the top 30 players on the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup points list are eligible to play at East Lake in Atlanta, where $15 million will be up for grabs for the victor.
"Some of the tournaments I didn't play as well as I wanted to, but I've got the green jacket", he said.
The final day to earn the eight automatic spots on the Presidents Cup changed nothing for either team. He was consistent throughout, shooting a 69 in his first, third and fourth rounds. Jason Day failed to work his way into an automatic spot for the global side.