Is there any game crueller than golf? Watching Mito Pereira double bogie the 72nd hole of a major championship to miss a playoff by one shot rammed home the answer in the negative. Golf is a hard taskmaster and a cruel mistress in no uncertain terms. The USA PGA Championship was won by Justin Thomas following a 3 hole aggregate playoff against Will Zalatoris. Thomas was a deserving winner make no mistake on that score. Mito, however, had led the tournament all day until the final hole and for much of the 3 previous days. It will be a bitter pill for the Chilean to swallow but he has every reason to be proud of his achievements.
Thomas Now a Two Time Major Winner
In many ways, the Thomas victory bucked the trend for the PGA to throw up first time winners.
You see the media like a well worn story to blow hard on and narratives involving champions. Tiger Woods is the favourite of the world media, of course, but he withdrew after Day 3 due to his gimpy leg in the cold conditions making play impossible.
Justin Thomas Played the Best Final Round
Justin Thomas played the best golf all day and was 7 shots behind the leader at the start of play on Sunday. It was a prodigious achievement winning his second major at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2022. He is a classy competitor who got the job done when he most needed to. He was 2 under in the 3 hole playoff to defeat Zalatoris by a stroke.
Zalatoris played well in the playoff but not well enough.
Pereira took a 3 shot lead over Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris into the final round but did not perform to the level required to pull away from the chasing Thomas. He put his final tee shot into the creek and could not get up and down for par or bogie to win or share in the playoff respectively. It was a crushing finish for the likeable Chilean golfer. No other golfers ever got close. Cameron Young faltered toward the end and Fitzpatrick never had his finest stuff on the day. Rory was not a factor and neither was Bubba or any other big name golfer.