2022 PGA Championship: Justin Thomas defeats Will Zalatoris in the playoffs after Mito Pereira double-bogeys 18th

Justin Thomas overturned a record seven-stroke deficit before beating Will Zalatoris in the shoot-off to win his second American PGA Championship after a dramatic climax in Southern Hills.

from Chile Mito Pereira held a one-stroke lead on the 72nd hole after seeing his birdie putter on the 17th stop excruciatingly before the hole, but pushed his drive into the creek and ran a devastating double bogey.

That left Thomas and Zalatoris contesting a three-hole aggregate play-off and Thomas birdied the 13th and 17th and parried the 18th to lift the Wanamaker Trophy for the second time, having started the day seven shots off the lead.

It meant the former world number one tied the biggest comeback in US PGA history, with John Mahaffey coming seven behind Tom Watson after 54 holes to defeat Watson and Jerry Pate in a play-off at Oakmont in 1978.

Thomas had drilled six feet on the par five 13 to match the birdie Zalatoris made after finding the green in two, but Zalatoris missed eight feet for a birdie on the 17 after Thomas drove the green on the par four of 302 yards. to set up a two-putt birdie.

Zalatoris was then unable to drill his long birdie putt on the 18th and Thomas made two safe putts to claim the Wanamaker Trophy for the second time after his 2017 win at Quail Hollow.

Thomas had birdied the 17th in regulation and missed by 10 feet for another on the last, his third 67 of the week setting a goal of five under par that only Zalatoris could match, with Pereira and Cameron Young four under and Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick. and Tommy Fleetwood tied for fifth on three under.

Fitzpatrick started the third final round behind Pereira and his luck seemed to have gone as he trailed a front nine of 36 with bogeys on 10 and 11, but the 27-year-old from Sheffield chipped in for a birdie through the 15th green to revive his hopes.

However, Fitzpatrick planted in a bunker to bogey on 17 and end his chances of becoming England’s second US PGA winner and first in 103 years.

“It’s hard to take right now,” Fitzpatrick said. “I just have to try to take the positives. The first three days, I was impeccable. Everything I did was fine.

“Maybe today wasn’t so exciting. I made too many mistakes on the simple things. I didn’t hit him enough in the fairway. There are just a few things today that I could have done better in hindsight.

Rory McIlroySunday’s second straight charge at a major tournament had ended in disappointment as his bid for a fifth major title, and first since the 2014 US PGA, continues.

McIlroy finished second in the Masters with a closing 64 at Augusta National, a round that culminated in wild celebrations from the four-time major winner after he landed a bunker shot on the 72nd hole.

In stark contrast, McIlroy’s closing 68 in Tulsa was followed by his refusal to speak to the waiting reporters before quickly grabbing his things from the locker room and heading to his car.

The reaction was understandable given that McIlroy had enjoyed a one-stroke lead after an opening 65 of what turned out to be the favored side of the draw.

A second-round 71 was far from disastrous, but Saturday’s 74 left him nine shots behind going into the final round, a deficit he quickly reduced with four straight birdies from second.

The par threes were McIlroy’s undoing though – the 33-year-old played them in five over par in the third round even with a birdie at 14 – and the sixth cost him another shot on Sunday after missing the green and hit a wrong token. at 20 feet.

Good birdie chances started the ninth, 12th and 13th and McIlroy’s dim hopes ended in a bogey on the par-four 17th.

Fleetwood had set the club’s initial target after five birdies in six holes from the 12th gave him a closing 67, but said he hadn’t considered his total to be good enough to win or take part in a blocade.

“I’m going to be happy wherever I end up,” Fleetwood said. “I never thought it was enough, but it was great to have what is going to be my best result of the year so far at a major.”

2022 PGA Championship: Justin Thomas defeats Will Zalatoris in the playoffs after Mito Pereira double-bogeys 18th

Source link 2022 PGA Championship: Justin Thomas defeats Will Zalatoris in the playoffs after Mito Pereira double-bogeys 18th

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