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Thomas lifts first major after two-shot win at US PGA

Thomas carded a closing 68 in a thrilling final round. Credit: PA

Three weeks after drinking out of the Claret Jug to celebrate close friend Jordan Spieth's Open victory, Justin Thomas had a major trophy of his own after his victory in the US PGA Championship.

Thomas carded a closing 68 in a thrilling final round at Quail Hollow to finish eight under par, two shots ahead of Patrick Reed, Louis Oosthuizen and Francesco Molinari.

Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama shared fifth place on five under with Kevin Kisner, who needed to eagle the 18th to force a play-off but ran up a double bogey, dropping back into a tie for seventh with Graham DeLaet.

England's Jordan Smith, playing in his first major championship, carded a closing 68 to finish in a tie for ninth with Open runner-up Matt Kuchar, former world number one Jason Day and Chris Stroud.

Fowler and Spieth were among the players to wait beside the 18th green to congratulate Thomas, who became the youngest player to shoot 59 on the PGA Tour on his way to winning back-to-back events in Hawaii in January.

"It's awesome and I think they know I would do the same for them," Thomas said. "It's a cool little friendship we have."

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Spieth: I give myself nine out of ten on opening round

Jordan Spieth carded a bogey-free 65. Credit: PA

Two-time major winner Jordan Spieth gave himself nine out of 10 after beginning his bid to secure the third leg of a career grand slam in impressive fashion in the 146th Open Championship.

Spieth carded a bogey-free 65 at Royal Birkdale to share the clubhouse lead with US Open champion Brooks Koepka, whose round included four birdies and an eagle.

The 65s of Ryder Cup team-mates Spieth and Koepka equalled the second lowest first round score in an Open at Birkdale, a shot outside Craig Stadler's record of 64 set in 1983.

But after hitting just five of 14 fairways, Spieth knew there was room for improvement as he looks to add the Open title to his Masters and US Open victories in 2015.

"I thought today's round was extremely important, as they all are, but given the forecast coming in, I thought you really needed to be in the red (under par) today," the 23-year-old said.

"Everything was strong. I give it a nine across the board for everything - tee balls, ball-striking, short game and putting. So things are in check. It's just about keeping it consistent.

"I'd call it a top five major round that I've played. There are scores that I've shot that were closer to par that were better given what I needed to do.

"But I couldn't have done much better today. I essentially missed two greens today in some 15mph winds."

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