Sports Desk, United States, May 22 (EFE).- American Justin Thomas on Sunday won the PGA Championship at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, United States, by beating compatriot Will Zalatoris in the playoffs by three holes.
Meanwhile, Chilean Mito Pereira, who led the tournament until the last hole, saw his title hopes fade due to a double bogey.
Five years after his first win, Thomas completed his PGA Championship double with the tournament’s third-best comeback ever, reaching the final round seven shots behind the leader.
Pereira came to lead the tournament at the last hole and par was enough for him to succeed, but was made to pay for a double bogey that left him out of contention
Thomas was the only one of the three players to finish his round under par, at -3, while Zalatoris recorded one over par and Pereira, five over par.
Both were saved on the last hole, thanks to Pereira’s double bogey, and played for the title in the playoff of three holes that included the 13th, 17th and 18th.
They had a birdie on the opening hole, but Thomas took command on the second, thanks to another birdie by Zalatoris’s par.
Thomas had enough par on the 18th hole to get his hands on this trophy for the second time in his career.
Pereira, born in Santiago de Chile in 1995 and a rookie on the PGA Tour, needed just a par on the last hole to be crowned champion at the Southern Hills Country Club, adding an impact lead over Will Zalatoris and Justin Thomas, who had already finished their round.
But, after coming within millimeters of a birdie on the 17th hole, he missed the opening shot and sent the ball into the water, earning him a penalty hit and putting him into the wall.
He needed another three shots to complete the hole and ended with a double bogey that ended his dream and left him in third position in Tulsa.
His tournament finished with 276 shots (-4) and in this last round he delivered scored 75 (5 over par.)
At the end of his round, Pereira, world No. 100, lamented Sunday that he had not managed to “play very well” and that he lacked “a couple of birdies” to complete his feat and be crowned.
He also said that until Friday his goal was to “make the cut” and said his displeasure will not stop him for the future of his career on the PGA Tour.
Until the end he had the support of his friend and compatriot Joaquin Neimann, who encouraged him with affection and was visibly hurt when he saw Pereira’s dream vanish on the final hole.
Neimann finished the tournament in 23rd position, with a total of two over par.
For his part, Mexico’s Abraham Ancer finished the tournament with 279 strokes, one under par, in ninth position. EFE