Top 4 Surprises at the 2022 PGA Championship

The 2022 PGA Championship is over, and Justin Thomas took home his second Wanamaker Trophy after a thrilling final round finish at Southern Hills Golf Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

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J.T.’s triumph and his second major victory leads us into our first surprise of the 2022 PGA Championship.

 

Sunday Afternoon’s Scoreboard

 

At one point during Sunday’s round, Thomas was as many as eight-shots back of the leader, Mito Pereira. Thomas closed out his final round with birdies on four of the last ten holes to post a 3-under round, the best of the contenders.

 

Will Zalatoris stayed composed, firing a one-over 76 with a huge birdie on 17 to share the lead with Thomas. Much has been written about Zalatoris and his putting woes, but the 25-year-old knocked in a huge putt on the 72nd hole to save par and force a playoff with Thomas.

 

Then there was the 54-hole leader who had a comfortable advantage heading into Sunday’s round and only a handful of players that had a realistic shot of taking over. No one outside of Thomas was making any noise, so all Pereira had to do was keep his score close to par.

 

A 3-over front nine wasn’t what Pereira had hoped for, and the 27-year-old added bogeys on holes 12 and 14 with a birdie sandwiched inbetween on 13. Pereira was six-under heading into the final hole, needing just a par to capture a major as his first PGA Tour victory.

 

Mito’s Choice of Driver on 18

 

The next surprise of the week comes at the final hole on Sunday with Mito’s decision to hit driver off the tee. Pereira was comfortable with the club selection but tried to shape a shot that didn’t go as planned and landed in a creek to the right. 

 

Mito settled for a double-bogey, a painful ending to four days of superb play. The double was Mito’s first of the week and ultimately cost him the title.

 

Zalatoris’ Play

 

Zalatoris continues to rise to the occasion in major tournaments. Although the 25-year-old is still in search of his first PGA title, Zalatoris has five top-10 finishes in seven major appearances. 

 

His consistent play will ultimately lead to a handful of victories, but in a small sample size, the budding star has shown that he is a gamer in major tournaments that typically require years of play before being successful.

 

Stars Missing the Cut

 

The PGA Championship field is the strongest of the four majors, with the World’s best golfers vying for the title. Many of those names made it to the weekend, but there appeared to be a handful of top players that failed to make the cut.

 

World no. 1 Scottie Scheffler was the ultimate disappointment. No one has played better golf than Scheffler this year, and after rumors of a 64 at Southern Hills in a practice round surfaced, the bar was high for the 25-year-old to contend for his second major victory in a row.

 

Others who had a short week were Patrick Cantlay, another elite player expected to have a great week. Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott also made early exits from golf’s second major.

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