Justin Thomas holds the Wanamaker Trophy after the final round of the PGA Championship on Sunday at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. Photo by Kyle Rivas/UPI | License Photo
May 22 (UPI) -- Justin Thomas beat Will Zalatoris by one stroke in a three-hole playoff to claim his second career major title at the 2022 PGA Championship on Sunday at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.
"It was a bizarre day," Thomas told CBS. "This place is so tough. I was asked early in the week what lead is safe, I said 'no lead.'
"I just stayed patient and found myself in a playoff."
Thomas, who claimed a $2.7 million first-place prize and the Wanamaker Trophy, also won the tournament in 2017.
Sunday's playoff was prompted when Mito Pereira lost his one-stroke lead with a double bogey on No. 18.
Thomas and Zalatoris, who were tied with four-round scores of 5-under par and in the clubhouse at the time, went back out onto the course to decide the tournament through the playoff.
They each birdied No. 13, the first hole of the playoff. Thomas then made birdie on No. 17, while Zalatoris carded par. Each golfer then made par on No. 18 to end the tournament.
"I'm pretty close," Zalatoris said of his chances to win a major. "I didn't have my best stuff yesterday, which was ultimately the difference. I battled like crazy today. We will get one soon."
Thomas entered the final round seven strokes back of Pereira, who held a three-stroke lead on the field to start the day. His comeback tied the largest final-round rally in PGA Championship history.
John Mahaffey also rallied from seven back to win the 1978 PGA Championship in a playoff.
Thomas carded five birdies for his final round of 3-under par. Zalatoris carded three birdies in his final round of 1-over par.
Thomas' 67 tied Tommy Fleetwood for the best final-round score.
Cameron Young and Pereira tied for third. Fleetwood, Chris Kirk and Matt Fitzpatrick tied for fifth. Rory McIlroy finished eighth.
The 2022 U.S. Open is the next major tournament on the PGA Tour schedule. That tournament will run from June 16 through 19 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
Justin Thomas poses with the trophy after winning the PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., on Sunday. Photo by Kyle Rivas/UPI | License Photo