TULSA, OKLAHOMA - MAY 22: Justin Thomas of the USA celebrates with the Wanamaker Trophy after the final round of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club on May 22, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Golf

Justin Time – Thomas Wins USPGA Playoff After Final Hole Carnage

Justin Thomas is the 2022 USPGA Champion after a 3-hole playoff victory over Will Zalatoris saw him clinch his second USPGA Championship title.

Thomas, who was as long as 28/1 with some sports books like PointsBet ahead of Sunday’s final round given that he lay seven strokes off the leaders.

However, it was the former World Number 1 who manage to keep his head over a dramatic final hour of the final round, plus the playoff, in order to secure his second Major title and his first win on tour since beating Lee Westwood by one shot at the 2021 Players Championship.

But for Will Zalatoris and particularly Chilean Mito Pereira, this will be the Major that slipped right through their fingers.

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How The Drama Unfolded On The Final Day

After the opening seven holes of his round, Justin Thomas probably felt his chance to win

TULSA, OKLAHOMA – MAY 22: Cameron Young of the United States reacts to his shot on the 14th tee as Will Zalatoris of the United States looks onduring the final round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club on May 22, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

had slipped away. A crazy shanked shot at the sixth meant that he dropped a shot over the first seven holes, leaving him eight behind the leader Mito Pereira who was -9 after five holes, one ahead of Zalatoris also after five.

Slowly, but surely, Thomas began to edge his way back into contention and as Pereira and Zalatoris started to drop shots a birdie at the 11th saw Thomas move one under-par on the day and to three-under, putting him four behind the leader.

Another birdie at 12 moved Thomas to four under, still three behind Pereira and two adrift of Zalatoris.

Then came a seemingly decisive moment. On 15, Thomas hit a fantastic shot to eight feet but then misread the putt, leaving him on -4, but by now, the lead was being shared by Cameron Young and Pereira at -6 under, Thomas somehow was two shots off the lead and one behind Zalatoris.

On the 13th Pereira grabbed a birdie to put himself three clear of Thomas and two clear of Zalatoris and Young, who had dropped a shot at 14.

However, Pereira gave back that shot at 14 while Thomas almost holed an 80-foot bunker shot for birdie at the 16th, but managed to get up and down from the sand at 17 to move to -5 under, tied with Zalatoris and Young and just one behind Pereira.

The 16th proved pivotal for Young, who doubled bogeyed, and Zalatoris, who bogeyed the

TULSA, OKLAHOMA – MAY 22: Mito Pereira of Chile reacts on the 14th green during the final round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club on May 22, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

hole and now Thomas was sole occupier of the second spot, still one shot behind Pereira.

Thomas had a chance on 18 for another birdie but saw his putt just miss and he finished the tournament at 5-under, still a shot behind Pereira, but one ahead of Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick who were still out on the course.

Zalatoris got to -5 on the 17th but on the 17th, Pereira almost nails a 12-foot birdie putt, the ball coming up just a fraction short and it would prove to be a pivotal moment.

With Zalatoris in the club house at -5 under level with Thomas, Pereira needed par or better on the 18th to clinch the win, but the Chilean saw adrenaline get the better of him and his wild tee-shot found water.

Agonisingly, Pereira could not get down in par or a bogey and finished with a double-bogey dropping him to -4 and out of the playoff.

The Playoff

The playoff was played over three holes, 13th, 17th and 18th and both players began well by claiming a birdie at the 13th, but it was the 17th that would prove decisive with Thomas finding the green with his three-wood and landing a birdie, while Zalatoris could only par the hole.

Two pars at the last ensured that Thomas claimed the victory in what was a breathless and dramatic final hour or so of golf.

US Open Betting

With the second Major of the year in the bag, the players now have another few weeks before the US Open at Brookline. Justin Thomas is currently +1800 with PointsBet to win the tournament, with Jon Rahm, despite his poor showing at the USPGA, still ranked as the +1200 favourite to win.

Will Zalatoris is +3300 after his second second-place finish in a Major, while Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler are both ranked as +1400 chances.

However, before that, we have the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial, the Memorial at Muirfield Village in Ohio and the RBC Canadian Open at St. George’s in Toronto, which just so happens to be the date of the first LIV golf tournament in London.

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