Rickie Fowler

Thomas a winner again, and still a long road toward the top

Winning a PGA Tour event for the second straight year, especially the manner in which Justin Thomas rallied in Malaysia, made it easy to assume that a player of his polish and power could be on the verge of breaking through to the next level.

Consider the last two weeks.

Thomas began the new season with birdies on his last two holes to make the cut on the number at the Safeway Open, and two days later he was on the cusp of contention. His amazing run ended when he missed three straight birdie chances inside 6 feet to start the back nine, and he settled for a 66-67 weekend to tie for eighth.

Last week in the CIMB Classic, after seemingly shooting himself out of the...