US PGA Championship: Two-time champion Justin Thomas breaks down 'very special' and 'bizarre' final round

By Sports Desk May 22, 2022

Justin Thomas gushed over how special it feels to finally be a two-time major champion after winning the US PGA Championship for the second time.

Thomas first won it in 2017 at Quail Hollow, and has now repeated the feat five years later, this time at Southern Hills Country Club.

He prevailed in a playoff against Will Zalatoris after outright leader Mito Pereira capitulated on the 18th hole, double-bogeying to finish one stroke behind the new leading pair at five under. Thomas had trailed Pereira by eight strokes coming into Sunday's play.

Speaking to the media after stepping off the 18th green, Thomas had one specific shot in mind – and it was not one of his best, highlighting a pure shank off the tee on the sixth hole.

"It was a bizarre day," he said. "I have definitely crossed one off the list – I have never won a tournament shanking a ball on Sunday, so that was the first, and I would really like it to be the last.

"Bones [caddie Jim 'Bones' Mackay] did an unbelievable job of just keeping me in the moment and I just tried to play the golf course for what it is.

"This place is so tough. It was funny – I was asked earlier in the week about what lead is safe and I said 'no lead' because this place is so tough. But if you hit the fairways you can make birdies, and I stayed so patient. 

"I could not believe that I found myself in a play-off."

Later when speaking to Sky Sports, Thomas reflected on just how difficult it is to win a major after some questioned if he would finish his career with just the one, and admitted he did not check the leaderboard all day.

"It is very, very special," he said. "Anytime you win is obviously great, but getting it done different ways teaches you a lot. 

"This golf course is tough. Winning tournaments is tough. Winning a major is tough.

"I just tried to stay patient, and I felt when I somehow got myself in the play-off it was time to get after it and get it done.

"I did not look at the leaderboard today – Bones did an unbelievable job of just keeping me in the moment. We were just out playing Southern Hills on a beautiful day, on a Sunday.

"I could kind of feel through the energy in the crowd that I had a chance, and I know that all the players up ahead of me are great players, but had not won a major, and it is a big moment. 

"I know I am very nervous, so I know they are 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, so be it.

"It is awesome. it is so nice to hear two-time [champion] instead of one-time."

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