Unfortunately Mito Pereira’s painful implosion will show extra memorable than victory for Justin Thomas.
Pereira stood on the 18th tee in the ultimate spherical of this US PGA Championship with the making of historical past in his grasp. There had by no means been a Chilean main winner earlier than. There nonetheless has not; Pereira, needing par for victory, carved a tetchy drive right into a water hazard. An 18-handicap golfer would have been dismayed by the shot.
Pereira’s double-bogey six didn’t even permit him the comfort of a playoff. That happened between Thomas and Will Zalatoris after they’d tied at 5 underneath par. This event proved the slowest of burners however excessive drama was well worth the wait.
For Thomas, US PGA glory for the second time. A terrific drive to inside 40ft of the pin on the par-four 17th, the second playoff gap, was key to victory. He outscored Zalatoris by one over holes 13, 17 and 18. In regulation play, Thomas’s closing 67 was superior to Zalatoris by 4.
Pereira, to his nice credit score, accepted each interview request. “Today I was really nervous,” admitted the world No 100. “I tried to handle it a little bit but it was really tough. I thought I was going to win on 18, but it is what it is. We’ll have another one.” Good on him.
Matt Fitzpatrick, searching for to turn out to be the primary Englishman since 1919 to win this occasion, completed two strokes shy of the playoff after a closing 73. “It is tough to take but I just didn’t hit the ball very well,” stated Fitzpatrick.
Thomas blasted himself into competition with a birdie putt from 65ft that discovered the underside of the outlet on the 11th. The 2017 champion collected one other shot on the 12th. As these forward slipped and stumbled, Thomas was the person to observe. He had head in fingers after lacking an honest alternative on the 15th, which he assumed was a big second. Still, he refused to present him. A birdie three on the penultimate gap edged him to inside one in all Pereira. At the final, Thomas missed from 10ft to tie Pereira however salvation was not distant.
Tommy Fleetwood’s gorgeous again 9 of 31, together with 4 birdies in a row from the 14th, meant a top-10 end. This marks Fleetwood’s most interesting main end because the 2019 Open. Fleetwood has encountered his justifiable share of on-course struggles since Shane Lowry prevailed at Royal Portrush.
“The Masters this year was my best finish that I’ve ever had in a Masters; this is the best finish I’ve ever had at the PGA,” Fleetwood stated. “If I can maintain that prepare going, the opposite two must be first rate main weeks.
“Part of life is you’ve your good instances and your dangerous instances. I’ve by no means stopped working. I’ve all the time tried my finest. I’ve all the time felt like I’ve been working actually laborious. I feel all people that will get to a sure stage, with the best data, is by far adequate to come back out the opposite aspect.”
Rory McIlroy started day 4 sitting 9 pictures from the lead and with no obvious likelihood of successful his fifth main. Hopes had been raised of a well-known McIlroy victory as he produced birdies on the 2nd, third, 4th and fifth. The run was halted by a bogey on the sixth and run of 10 pars earlier than one other dropped shot on the 17th.
That McIlroy didn’t cease for media duties advised he was severely stung by the taking part in out of this event after a gap 65. Saturday’s 74 was the place the actual harm was performed; largely by McIlroy taking part in the sixth and 11th – par threes – in a mixed 5 over. A closing 68 left McIlroy two underneath par.
Justin Rose admitted his latest type had been poor, which added worth to a fourth-round 68 for an even-par complete. “It helps the confidence,” Rose stated. “You can do all the work in the world but you need to get out and play tournament golf. You need to feel the mini-butterflies you get out there.”
As a tense battle ensued on the head of proceedings, it felt applicable to recollect how Tiger Woods used to shut out main wins with a minimal of fuss. There has been no replace from Woods after the PGA of America introduced his withdrawal from this occasion after 54 holes. Whether he’s of appropriate bodily situation to characteristic in subsequent month’s US Open stays open to debate.