PGA Championship 2022: As he pulled off a spectacular final-round comeback to win his second major title, PGA Championship 2022 champion Justin Thomas says he knew his opponents had to be “nervous.”
Thomas equalled the tournament’s biggest final-day comeback when he came back from a seven-shot deficit at the start of Sunday to win a play-off against fellow American Will Zalatoris.
Mito Pereira of Chile had a one-shot lead on the 18th tee after leading by three shots at nine-under-par at the start of the round, but he found the hazard before shooting a double bogey to miss the play-off.
Cameron Young, who briefly shared the lead with Pereira on the back nine, faded after a double-bogey at the 16th, while England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick couldn’t maintain his challenge after a miraculous chip-in birdie at the 15th.
Thomas told Sky Sports, “I didn’t check at the standings today.” “Through the enthusiasm in the crowd, I could sense that I had a chance.
“All of the people ahead of me are excellent players, but they haven’t won a major, and this is a significant moment for them.
“I mean, I know I’m very nervous, so I know that they’re very nervous and I just tried to tell myself that all I can do is control what I can, and if it’s good enough, great, if not then so be it.”
After reaching the play-off, Thomas defeated Zalatoris with a near-perfect three-hole performance, making birdies at the 13th and 17th holes before sealing victory with a tap-in par at the difficult 18th.
Thomas, who turned 29 in April, is only the sixth player in the last 80 years to win 15 PGA Tour events, including two major championships, before turning 30.
“It’s very, very special,” Thomas added. “Any time you win it’s obviously great, but getting it done in different ways I think teaches a lot. It’s a great learning opportunity. I fought so hard today. I was out of it and I was back in.
“This golf course is tough, winning a tournament is tough, winning a major is tough and I just tried to stay patient, and I felt, when I somehow got myself in that play-off, it was time to just go and get after it and get it done.”
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