Justin Thomas retains CIMB Classic title

The leader after the third round, Anirban Lahiri, squandered a four-shot lead in committing such a rare quadruple bogey on the third hole - after his tee shot to finish the race in a tree.

Defending champion Justin Thomas endured a bad start to the third round of the CIMB Classic after the American faltered with three bogeys and a double bogey to finish with a 1-under 71 Saturday at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

"Both yesterday and today I've played good - I think I played solid right through", said Lahiri, who was runner-up at the Asian Tour's Macau Open last week.

Australian Marc Leishman finished alone in fifth on -17 whilst 2011 US PGA Champion Keegan Bradley was a further stroke behind after a final round of 68.

This is also the first successful title defense on the PGA TOUR since Matt Every won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2014 and 2015.

The 23-year-old American Thomas, who has held at least a share of the lead since last year's second round, was rock steady once again at TPC Kuala Lumpur as he put together six birdies on his card for a 66 that took his tally to 14-under 130. "Woke up at about 4:00 and got the computer and streamed it and just laid in bed and watched it and probably woke up a couple people in the rooms next to me".

After looking imperious in the first two rounds, Thomas suffered a mid-round meltdown on Saturday when he dropped four shots in three holes.

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"I'm happy with the way I played", he said.

"Yeah, it was really just awful golf for the first 13 holes", he said.

Rickie Fowler, who was not in the field this week, made sure everyone knew his buddy Thomas had just won in Malaysia.

As a result of the victory, the 23-year-old Thomas extended his PGA Tour status through the 2018-19 season.

The US$7 million tournament is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the PGA Tour and offers US$1.26 million to the victor.

LPGA: Jessica Korda caught Minjee Lee on Saturday in the Blue Bay LPGA. "He hit some really, really good putts that didn't go in and there's nothing for him to be down or upset about".

"It (a five-stroke lead) is big but there's a chance if I can erupt". Lee's chip left Korda with an 18-footer for eagle from off the back edge that she missed to the left.


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