Published: Tue, September 05, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Justin Thomas wins Dell Championship

Justin Thomas wins Dell Championship

But Thomas' triumph also served as something else: Another moment in the growing rivalry of a generation that, while it includes others-Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, etc. -is tied to the two star pupils of the high school Class of 2011.

Things would change dramatically over the final nine holes however as first Leishman, then Spieth, began to falter, Leishman with bogeys at his opening three holes of the homeward nine to allow Spieth to take the lead through 13 holes but soon Spieth would open to door for Thomas.

But Spieth, who finished second at 14 under, shot 2 over on the back nine, leaving the door open for the reigning PGA Championship victor.

Spieth was simply dynamic at the start. Thomas cruised just as he's done all season.

"Patience", Thomas told NBC's Steve Sands about what he's learned about how to win. "I got through over par and didn't get any coming in when I hit some good putts". We stay within every shot. I feel like we're very similar caliber of player; I just got a couple years of experience head start. A loss would mean that even with wins in their final two games next month, the Americans could wind up in a playoff against an Asian team or miss next year's tournament entirely. He's helped me so much.

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"That was a definitely a bonus", Thomas said. Earlier this year, Leishman won the Arnold Palmer Invitational - his second career PGA Tour victory.

Now he's among the elite, joining Tiger Woods and Spieth as the only players in the last 50 years with five victories and a major in one season before age 25.

"Definitely jealousy", Thomas said of watching Spieth ascend so quickly. "It's no coincidence, I don't think". It's not. It's an outlier.

The PGA champion finished at 17-under 267 over the par-71, 7,342-yard layout at TPC Boston. Oh, and there is $10 million at the top of it.

Open champion Spieth leads the FedEx Cup standings, but this win leaves Thomas just 27 points adrift.

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The Dell Championship was the second of the four FedEx Cup play-off tournaments.

"We'll see. I hope so", said Mickelson. Also, I would listen to Spieth mic'd up talking about what I'm eating for breakfast.

Jon Rahm (T4): I thought we'd see more in the final two rounds after Rahm led at the midway point. He didn't play poorly in Rounds 3 and 4, but a 3-under total just wasn't getting it done this week.

He finally got back on track, but the damage had been done. Because he'd finished in the top 3 in the event and Spieth didn't, Thomas was invited to play in a pro-am with LPGA star Juli Inkster.

Phil Mickelson (T6): After discovering and treating a mysterious illness, Mickelson had one of his best finishes of the season. In addition to the trophy and prize money, the victor of the season-ending Tour Championship receives a bonus of $10 million. One back of Spieth on the 13th, Thomas knocked his approach to 8 feet and rolled in the putt for birdie and a share.

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"Game is in a good spot, playing well", Leishman said.

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