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LEADERBOARD -5 Thomas, Zalatoris; -4 Pereira, Young; –3 Kirk, Fleetwood, McIlroy, Fitzpatrick SELECTED OTHERS +4 Spieth; +6 Rahm; +8 Morikawa; +17 MacIntyre
Justin Thomas won the PGA Championship in a dramatic playoff at Southern Hills.
Thomas beat Will Zalatoris on extra holes after a dramatic collapse by leader Mito Pereira on the 72nd hole.
Pereira, who had led for much of the third day and the entire final round, found water and double-bogeyed the final hole to drop out of contention.
The players came into the playoff off the back of very different rounds. Thomas had gone on a stunning run to get himself in the mix, coming from seven back to tie the biggest final-round comeback in PGA history.
Meanwhile Zalatoris had been a little wild and clung to Pereira’s coat-tails.
Both birdied the 13th, the first of the three-hole aggregate playoff. Zalatoris found the green in two and safely two-putted, while Thomas laid up from the rough and then stiffed a wedge.
On the 17th, it was advantage Thomas. The 2017 champion’s wonderful drive found the green, allowing him to make another birdie. Zalatoris missed right, pitching on and two-putting for par.
And at 18, a par was enough to secure Thomas’ return to the major winners’ circle.
“It’s very, very special,” Thomas said.
“Any time you win is great but getting it done in different ways is a great learning opportunity.
“I fought so hard. I was out of it, then it was back on.
“I didn’t look at a leaderboard all day – I was just out playing Southern Hills on a beautiful day.”
Zalatoris, meanwhile, was magnanimous in defeat – and vowed his time will come.
“I fought like crazy,” he said.
“To come up one short stings but we are going to get one soon.”
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