When the final round of the PGA Championship started, it didn’t seem like Justin Thomas had much of a chance to win. But when all was said and done at Southern Hills, Thomas stood on top of the field.
Thomas began the day seven strokes back of 54-hole leader Mito Pereira. That deficit moved to eight early in the round. But none of the golfers ahead of Thomas created much separation as he clawed his way back into contention. Thomas finished with a 67, but he missed a makeable par putt on the 18th hole, which seemed to end his chances. But when Pereira collapsed on the 72nd hole, Thomas and Will Zalatoris found themselves in a three-hole playoff — which Thomas won.
Both players opened the playoff with birdies on the par-5 13th hole. They next went to the 17th hole tied. Thomas took full advantage of the short par-4 with a stellar tee shot that finished on the green.
Yeah, this shot was worth the club twirl. pic.twitter.com/S524NtY86u
— GOLF on CBS ⛳ (@GOLFonCBS) May 22, 2022
Thomas two-putted for a birdie, while Zalatoris made par. Both players reached the 18th green in two shots. Zalatoris had a chance to apply pressure to Thomas with his birdie putt, but he missed, leaving Thomas two putts for the win. Thomas did that to secure his second major championship, adding this Wanamaker Trophy to the one he earned in 2017.
"It's Justin time again at the PGA Championship!"- Jim Nantz https://t.co/lWKPlbTPJ2
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 22, 2022
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 22, 2022
Thomas’ victory tied a record for the largest comeback in PGA Championship history and one of the biggest in any major.
Justin Thomas entered the final round trailing Mito Pereira by seven shots.
Largest final-round comeback at the PGA Championship: 7 (John Mahaffey/1978).
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) May 22, 2022
Justin Thomas had a 7-shot 54-hole comeback on Sunday to win the 104th PGA Championship.
That is tied for the 3rd-largest comeback in any major championship; only Paul Lawrie (10 at 1999 Open) and Jack Burke Jr. (8 at 1956 Masters) trailed by more. pic.twitter.com/KdhnzoMMUi
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 22, 2022
Golf fans watching heaped praise on the PGA Champion.
What a wild tournament. None of it made sense and somehow Justin Thomas wins.
— Matt Bernier (@bernier_matt) May 22, 2022
🚨🚨🚨 JUSTIN THOMAS ERASES A 7 SHOT DEFICIT ON SUNDAY, WINS THE #PGACHAMPIONSHIP IN A PLAYOFF. HIS 2ND MAJOR TITLE. 15TH CAREER TOUR WIN. UNBELIEVABLE. LFG! 🚨🚨🚨
— JustinThomasTracker (@TrackingJT) May 22, 2022
Congrats to Justin Thomas for rallying to win the PGA in a playoff & bringing some late drama to what had been a sleepy cold weekend. If we couldn't have Tiger, at least we had his best buddy. If we couldn't have defending champ Phil, at least we had his former caddy Bones.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) May 22, 2022
JT and Bones!! That was some impressive golf in the playoff! Congrats @JustinThomas34 🐺
— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) May 22, 2022
Congrats to Justin Thomas on his PGA win!!!
Native Kentuckian gets it done
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) May 22, 2022
ATTA BABY @JustinThomas34
From 7 DAHN
🗣 PREDATOR MENTALITY pic.twitter.com/Q2E0HDCaY6
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) May 22, 2022
I remember interviewing Justin Thomas after he shot 63 on Saturday at the US Open at Erin Hills. I asked him about being compared to his contemporaries despite having no majors.
He was annoyed. He bristled at the idea he’d underperformed. And I have always loved that attitude.
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) May 22, 2022
— Mark Ingram II (@markingramII) May 22, 2022
Justin Thomas!!!! 2x PGA Champ. What a ring to it. So cool given his connections to PGA of America.
— Amanda Rose (@AmandaGolf59) May 22, 2022
Indeed, Thomas’ father, Mike PGA club professional, as was his grandfather, Paul. Given the significance of the PGA Championship to club pros and that club professionals get a chance to play in it, it might mean more to him than most other golfers.