2022 PGA Championship: Tiger Woods’ failure to make the cut in this year’s majors has been branded as “beyond absurd” by PGA Championship champion Justin Thomas, who believes his close friend would “find something to give me grief about” despite his success.
Woods, who was making his second outing since suffering career-threatening leg injuries in a car accident in February 2021, put in a characteristically gritty performance on Friday to reach the cut at Southern Hills, as he had done at The Masters last month.
The 15-time major champion would eventually retire before the final round after shooting a nine-over par 79 on Saturday, but Justin Thomas, who won in a playoff over fellow American Will Zalatoris, believes Woods’ performance should be lauded.
When asked how it felt to witness Woods’ struggle, Thomas said: “I won’t describe how difficult it was for me to watch him suffer. He made the cut in his second major in a straight, what, a year and a half after getting involved in a horrific automobile accident and breaking his leg?
“You don’t realise how unbelievable that is, do you? He’s a natural freak. The things he can do with his mind are incredible.
Thomas recounts Tiger’s remark about his performance on Saturday
Thomas appeared to hint to the media on Sunday night after his triumph that he had not yet spoken to Woods, but that the 46-year-old had managed to make fun of him on Saturday after the eventual champion shot a 74 that appeared to knock him out of contention.
“So I was like, ‘thanks, good to talk to you too, I’ll talk to you later.'”
Thomas’ victory at Southern Hills followed in the footsteps of Woods, who won the PGA Championship there in 2007. Thomas also joined Woods as one of just six players since World War II to win 15 PGA Tour victories, including two majors, before turning 30.
Despite the significant achievement, Thomas is adamant that Woods will find something to irritate him, speculating that it could be his wildly shanked tee shot on the par-three sixth, or his failure to end the play-off by holing a birdie putt on the 18th green, despite par being enough to secure the victory.
“I think now I only have like 150 other things to do that he’s done to where he can stop giving me grief,” Thomas added. “So I guess it’s just a stepping stone.
“I’m sure he probably will give me a hard time for shanking it, [or say] I should have made the putt on 18 [and] shouldn’t have been in a playoff.
“I don’t know, he’ll always find something to give me grief about.”
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