Justin Thomas has bagged a maiden major golf title with a come-from-behind victory at the US PGA Championship in North Carolina.
The 24-year-old American started the final round at Quail Hollow two shots off the pace, but the world No.14 stormed home with six birdies and three bogeys en route to a three-under par 68 and an eight-under total of 276, to win by two shots.
Italy’s Francesco Molinari (67), American Patrick Reed (67) and 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen (70) tied for second at six-under.
World No.3 Hideki Matsuyama missed out on his chance to become Japan’s first male major winner, slumping to a 72 on Sunday to share fifth place with No.10 Rickie Fowler (67) at five-under the card.
Playing in the penultimate group, 25-year-old Matsuyama and Thomas traded blows, and the lead, during a thrilling finish to the year’s final major.
Thomas began his round with a bogey but bounced back with a birdie immediately after.
Ranked ninth on the US PGA Tour for driving distance, Thomas picked up another shot on his opening nine holes to set up a back-nine charge.
With Matsuyama dropping two shots on the home stretch and overnight leader Kevin Kisner on his way to crashing out of contention with a 74, Thomas took the tournament by the scruff of the neck with three back-nine birdies.
Thomas salvaged a gutsy bogey at the par-4 18th after finding a fairway bunker off the tee to claim the PGA Championship’s Wanamaker trophy.
Australia’s Jason Day clawed back from his third-round collapse, firing a 70 on Sunday to finish one-under the card and tie for ninth.
The 2015 US PGA Championship winner Day effectively shot himself out of the tournament during Saturday’s third round with a quadruple-bogey at the par-4 18th hole leading to a nightmare 77.
Earlier, Victoria’s Marc Leishman signed off on the year’s final major with a four-under 67 to work his way back to an even-par total, sharing 13th place.
Fellow Australian Adam Scott signed for a solid 71 to finish at eight-over and tie for 61st.