Justin Thomas wins second PGA Championship
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - St. Xavier HIgh School graduate Justin Thomas won the 2022 PGA Championship on Sunday at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
He battled back from a seven shot deficit to start the day, the third largest comeback in major championship golf history.
Thomas is the first native Kentuckian to win two major championships. Bobby Nichols won the 1964 PGA Championship and Gay Brewer won the 1967 Masters. Thomas also won the 2017 PGA Championship.
“I don’t remember the specifics from 2017 as much as I would like, I just remember them chanting ‘JT,” but I don’t remember the specifics,” Thomas said. “I just was walking up 18, in the playoff, and I knew it wasn’t over, but I looked up and I wanted to take it in, because you don’t know when and if it’s going to happen again and it’s just such an unbelievable371 , cool feeling, that you just want to enjoy it.”
Thomas put himself in position to win with a miraculous bogey after a shank off the tee on the par three sixth. A long birdie putt on 11 and another birdie on 17 to get him to -5. After starting the final round seven shots back, he was just one behind leader Mito Pereria. Pereria missed a birdie putt on 17 and then, with a one shot lead on the tee at 18, hit his tee shot into the water. He would double bogey the hole to finish -4, tied for third after a final round 75.
Thomas faced off with Will Zalatoris for a three hole playoff. After they both birdied the first playoff hole, #13, Thomas delivered a laser of a drive on the second playoff hole, #17. He drove the green on the 371 yard par four. Zalatoris came up short of the green and had to settle for a two putt par, while Thomas made a two putt birdie to take a one shot lead.
He parred the difficult 18th for the second time on the day to cap off his historic win.
“I legitimately think it’s harder to win now than it was when I first came out on Tour just for the sake of the depth of the Tour,” Thomas said “I clearly haven’t won the amount of times that a lot of guys -- not a lot; a handful of guys have this year. But I feel like I’ve played just as well as anybody on Tour this year. I just haven’t had the trophies to show, and I’d fallen in the World Ranking, and that just kind of shows how strong it was or how strong the game of golf is.”
Thomas’ grandfather, Paul, was a teaching professional in Ohio, and his father, Mike, was the longtime pro at Harmony Landing Country Club in Goshen. Justin is the 22nd player to win the Wananaker Trophy more than one time.
The 2023 PGA Championship is being held at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, and in 2024 the tournament will return to Valhalla Golf Club for the fourth time.
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