KUALA LUMPUR: Newly-crowned US PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas (pic) has clearly not forgotten his “roots”.
Barely 48 hours after winning his first Major title, the 24-year-old American confirmed that he’s returning to Malaysia to attempt a three-peat in the CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur from Oct 12-15.
Thomas won the 2015 and 2016 CIMB Classic for his first two PGA Tour victories. Since then his career has gone from strength to strength.
He swiftly added two more titles to his trophy cabinet – winning the Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open in Hawaii in January – before following it up with the Major triumph that net him a US$1.89mil (RM8.12mil) jackpot on Sunday.
Thomas also secured 100 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points to climb to a career-best of No. 6.
CIMB Group chief executive Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz was pleased to welcome back Thomas as a Major champion.
“We knew Justin was destined for great things after picking up his first two PGA Tour wins at the CIMB Classic two years in a row,” said Tengku Zafrul.
“Justin has not only showcased a solid, consistent game since the start of the PGA Tour but also set a few new records along the way.
“This October, golf fans in Malaysia will have the chance to watch Justin live as he goes for his third straight win against another strong field at the world-class TPC Kuala Lumpur.”
Thomas will now aim to etch his name in the record books and join the likes of Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer in the three-peat elite club should he claim the CIMB Classic title for the third consecutive year.
The last golfer to achieve the feat on the PGA Tour was Steve Stricker. He became the 17th golfer in the Tour’s history to accomplish it at the John Deere Classic in 2011.
Ryan Moore, the CIMB Classic winner in 2013 and 2014, failed in his bid two years ago.
The eighth edition will again feature a 78-player elite field comprising 60 players from the PGA Tour, 10 from the Asian Tour and eight sponsor invites.
Malaysia will have at least two representatives.
Danny Chia has confirmed his place after winning the CIMB National Championship while the top Malaysian on the OWGR as of Oct 2 will also get to play.