Thomas, who claimed the year opening event on the PGA Tour for the second time, made the playoff necessary by losing a two-shot lead with three holes to play.

Then, he was fortunate to even be in a playoff when defending champion Xander Schauffele three-putted from 35 feet for a par that brought Reed into the playoff.

It was the first three-man playoff since the event moved to Kapalua in 1999.

Reed twice had putts to win on the 18th in extra holes, missing from 30 feet and 12 feet.

Thomas, who narrowly cleared the hazard with his second shot on the final hole of the week, hit a high wedge that landed perfectly with enough spin and rolled out to three feet.

Reed had eight feet for birdie and hit it too hard, leading to an ugly finish in more ways than one.

A fan screamed out, "Cheater!" after he hit the birdie putt, and Reed glared.

It was a reference to his rules violation in the Bahamas when video showed him scooping away sand to improve his lie.

Reed was penalised two shots.

Schauffele was eliminated after the first hole. He had reason to believe he threw it away, too, only his three-putt par on the first playoff hole didn't allow him another chance.

Thomas finished with a 4-under 69, Reed shot 66 and Schauffele had a 70. They finished at 14-under 278.

-Doug Ferguson, Associated Press