PIPOC 2007  


May 25, 2018 -Friday


Tuesday 12/09/2017

Justin Thomas, two-time defending champion of the 2015 and 2016 CIMB Classic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 (Bernama) -- Since winning his first PGA TOUR title at the 2015 CIMB Classic, Justin Thomas’ career has skyrocketed to great heights. Following his career breakthrough in Malaysia at the CIMB Classic 2016-17 in October last year, the 24-year-old American has won five more tournaments in less than 12 months, including a maiden major title at the PGA Championship in August. Thomas also shot the magical 59 in Hawaii earlier this year, joined an exclusive club of under-25 players which includes Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, to win five or more times during a season, risen to world No. 4 and is currently ranked No. 2 on the current FedExCup standings.

How much do you recall of last year’s CIMB Classic?
It was awesome. It was obviously special being able to go back to defend last year. Having won my first PGA TOUR title in Malaysia, it’s got a special place in my heart. To go back-to-back last year was awesome. It definitely got my 2016-17 season off to a good start.

What is it about TPC KL that seems to fit your game?
I somehow have a comforting feeling out there and I seem to do all right. The scores are really low over there. There’s not very much wind and I think why I played so well over there is because I have a lot of wedges and I feel that my wedge game is good. That’s why I’m able to make so many birdies because I can roughly get a few kick ins per day and it just seems to be a place where I play well.

How important is it for the young players from the PGA TOUR to come out and take up these playing opportunities?
I think if you have the opportunity, you can take advantage of it. I don’t think any young guys are turning down opportunities to play. It’s just the fact of being able to qualify for the tournaments and being able to play in them. If they can, they all will go to play. It’s pretty unbelievable where this game takes us. 

Why has Malaysia been such a good fit for you, and what would it mean to you to think that you could win that three times in a row?
Yeah, it's great. I think the big thing is, it's a lot of wedges and I feel that I have a really good wedge game. And the greens don't spin a lot, so the ball kind of - it's going to stay around where it lands, and I feel like that's something that of my wedge game, what I need to get better at is the spin control. I'm so envious of how Strick (Steve Stricker) hits his wedges. As soon as they land, they will roll a couple inches and sometimes they will spin back. It's always in kind of a two-foot radius of his ball. For me, sometimes I'll hit one and it will kind of rip back or whatever but there (at TPC Kuala Lumpur), the ball just seems to, I don't know, whether it's the grass or what it is, but it kind of stays around where it lands. I feel like I'm going to hit my number within a couple yards, about, every time. I seem to putt pretty well over there too.

Will it have special meaning if you can win it three times at the CIMB Classic and is it something you look back on, that first win ?
Yeah, and the way I did it is even more special. It's something I always look back on -- it's something I looked back on in the PGA (Championship) and something I looked back on in Hawai'i. I'll always be able to trace back to that first win (at the CIMB Classic in 2015) because I had so many different things happen that day, between getting off to a slow start and then kind of having a hot couple of holes in the middle of the round and then dumping it in the water on 14 and then birdieing 15, 16, 17. I feel like I had it all happen. I feel like I have been able to and I will be able to continue to use that round to my benefit.


Name : Suria Zainal
Group Corporate Communications
Group CEO’s Office
CIMB Group Holdings Berhad
Tel: +603 - 2261 0638
Email: suriawati.zainal@cimb.com



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