Final hole eagle rescues top-20 finish for McDowell at CJ Cup

JEJU, SOUTH KOREA - OCTOBER 20: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the 3rd hole during the final round of the CJ Cup @Nine Bridges at the Club at Nine Bridges on October 20, 2019 in Jeju, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Graeme McDowell fired two eagles in his closing seven holes to secure a tie for 16th at the end of The CJ Cup in South Korea.

The 40-year old had dropped three shots through 10 holes in a disappointing final round showing before an eagle on 12 was followed by another in a grandstand finish on 18.

In the first event of a three-tournament PGA Tour swing through Asia, his one-under par 71 to finish out four rounds at Nine Bridges saw the Northern Irishman finish at 10-under par, collecting a handsome cheque worth $148,785 for the effort.

At the head of affairs, Justin Thomas won his 11th PGA Tour title and his second in South Korea in three years with a final round five-under 67 and a two-stroke victory over South Korean-born New Zealander Danny Lee.

Thomas and Lee made it mostly a two-man show Sunday. They entered the final round tied and stayed that way through the front nine.

Thomas birdied the 14th to take one-stroke lead, then went up by two when Lee bogeyed the 15th after missing a 10-foot par putt and Thomas made a two-footer for par. After going from greenside bunker to bunker on the 16th, Lee bogeyed again and fell three behind. But Thomas bogeyed the 17th after his 12-footer for par lipped out, reducing the deficit to two strokes.

On Saturday, Thomas had a three-stroke lead heading into the 18th ahead of a three-shot swing when Thomas bogeyed and Lee made a long eagle putt. On Sunday, there were no such late miracles for Lee. Thomas and Lee both birdied the 18th, with Lee lipping out on his eagle putt to finish with a 69.

Thomas finished with a 72-hole winning total of 20-under 268.

Hideki Matsuyama (65), last year’s runner-up Gary Woodland (66) and Australian Cameron Smith (69) finished tied for third, five behind Thomas. Jordan Spieth closed with a 71 and was tied with four others at 12-under.

Phil Mickelson finished with a 68 and Jason Day with a 71, both at 7-under.

The PGA Tour’s second of three weeks in Asia continues next week at the ZOZO Championship in Japan with Tiger Woods and Shane Lowry both in action and ends with the World Golf Championships event in Shanghai.

Full scoring HERE

 



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