MEDINAH, Ill. — Justin Thomas had more stress than he wanted and answered with the shots he needed Sunday to win the BMW Championship and claim the No. 1 seed going into the FedEx Cup finale.

Thomas watched a six-shot lead shrink to two in a span of three holes around the turn until regaining control with two great wedges and two pivotal putts. One last birdie gave him a 4-under 68 and a three-shot victory over Patrick Cantlay, who contended to the end with a 65.

“I was really nervous today. It’s hard to play with a lead,” Thomas said. “You don’t know how often things like this will happen, and it feels great.”

The victory, the first for Thomas since the World Golf Championship last year, gives him a two-shot lead starting the Tour Championship next week as the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup chase the $15 million prize.

The field will have a staggered start based on their position in the FedEx Cup, meaning Thomas starts at 10-under par.

CHAMPIONS: Doug Barron became the 13th Monday qualifier to win a Tour event, holing two 15-foot birdie putts after a rain delay to beat Fred Couples by two strokes in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open at Endicott, New York.

Making his second senior start after turning 50 last month, Barron closed with a 6-under 66 to finish the wire-to-wire victory at 17-under 199. With Couples in the clubhouse after a 63, Barron returned from the rain delay to hole the first 15-footer on the par-4 15th to break a tie for the lead, then doubled the advantage with the second one on the par-3 17th.

Couples, 59, competed in the event for the first time in 24 years. He won the PGA Tour’s 1991 B.C. Open at the course.

Barron is the first open qualifier to win since Willie Wood in the 2012 event, and the first to win wire-to-wire.

EUROPEAN: Thomas Pieters of Belgium shot a 3-under 68 at Vysoky Ujezd, Czech Republic, to become the first golfer to win the Czech Masters for the second time, beating Adri Arnaus of Spain by one stroke.

Pieters, who took a one-stroke lead into the final round, opened a three-shot lead after a birdie on the seventh only to bogey the eighth. He added a birdie and a bogey on the back nine to finish at 19-under 269 for his fourth Tour victory and first since the 2016 Made In Denmark.

“I felt like I was in control today, almost the whole day, and I kind of did my own thing,” Pieters said.

U.S. AMATEUR: Andy Ogletree won the title, rallying to beat John Augenstein 2 and 1 at Pinehurst, North Carolina.


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