2022 PGA Championship standings, winner: Justin Thomas edges out Will Zalatoris in playoffs for second major victory

TULSA, Okla. – Justin Thomas came from seven strokes down on Sunday to win the 104th PGA Championship at Southern Hills, forcing the tournament to a three-hole overall playoff which he eventually won against Will Zalatoris to claim the second Wanamaker Trophy of his young career. In doing so, Thomas is tied for the third-most comeback after 54 holes in major championship history.

Thomas started his day at 2 under and roared with a 3 under 67 in round 4 that included a bogeyless 3 under 32 on the back nine. He birdied the first and second holes of the playoffs and pared the last, while Zalatoris tied the birdie on the first hole (No. 13) but was unable to hold serve on the last two (#17-18).

Thomas’ seven-stroke win marked the biggest 54-hole comeback to win a major championship since the 1999 Open Championship. It was only the sixth time in history that a golfer had won a major after trailed by seven strokes or more at the start of the final round.

“It was a weird day. I definitely crossed one off the list. I’ve never won a tournament by hitting a ball on Sunday. It was a first, and man, I really wish it was a last,” Thomas said. after his victory. “…I was asked earlier in the week, ‘Which lead is safe?’ And I said, ‘No lead.’ This place is so tough but if you hit the fairways you can birdie I stayed so patient and just can’t believe I ended up in the playoffs.

Zalatoris, meanwhile, earned second place in a major tournament for the second time in his career (Masters 2021). It was also his fifth top eight finish in his last seven major starts. He started the day three shots off the lead in T2 and went 1 of 71 in Round 4.

The tournament stunned 54-hole leader Mito Pereira to lose on Sunday as the 27-year-old Chilean opened the day with a three-stroke advantage on the course and either shared the lead or retained it for every hole except the last. A birdie putt on the 17th, which would have given Pereira a two-stroke lead, stopped half a rotation from the hole in a heartbreaking moment.

Pereira entered on the 18th, the 72nd hole of his tournament, a shot down the field to blast his drive into a stream to the right of the fairway. He finally finished with a double bogey, not only revealing his potential win, but opening the door for Thomas and Zalatoris to enter a playoff for the Wanamaker.

In regulation, Thomas stood over a birdie putt in the 18th that would have given him a better 4-under 31 on the back nine and was ultimately the outright victory (after the end of Pereira). He missed that and settled for par, while Zalatoris birdied on the 18th to tie Thomas for the club lead at 5 under.

2022 PGA Championship Playoffs

Thomas

(4)

(3)

4 -2

Zalatoris

(4)

4

4 -1
  • Hole 1 (par-5 13th): Thomas found the rough off the tee but hit his third shot 6 feet from the hole for a clutch bird putt. Zalatoris looked to have beaten JT by making it to the green in two but was forced to tap for a birdie after a long eagle putt slipped left.
  • Hole 2 (par-4 17th): Thomas chased the green off the tee by spectacular fashion, while Zalatoris tried the same to luckily land a few yards from a green side bunker. Zalatoris missed a 12-foot putt and settled for par, while JT calmly hit his 56-foot eagle putt within 4 feet for a birdie and the header.
  • Hole 3 (par-4 18th): Both men reached the green in two, although Zalatoris’ approach slid along a ridge to put him further from the hole. Zalatoris put in a few feet, while Thomas hit his one-footed for a par putt and the championship.

About Christian M.

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