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2022 PGA Championship: 5 biggest winners and losers

Vincent Frank
PGA: PGA Championship - Final Round
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 PGA Championship from Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was held over the past four days.

One of the biggest storylines heading into the second major of the season was the status of Tiger Woods. In just his second tournament back after suffering a horrific automobile accident back in February of 2021, Woods was able to make the cut. Unfortunately, he put up his worst single-round performance at the annual event on Suturday and had to withdraw due to pain in his back.

As for the leaderboard during the PGA Championship, a relative unknown in that of Chile’s Mito Pereira held the 54-hole lead heading into Sunday. While he struggled through the final 18 and bombed out big time on the back end, household names such as Cameron Young and Justin Thomas got it going.

In the end, Justin Thomas was able to come back fom an eight-shot deficit to ultimately defeat Will Zalatoris in the thee-hole playoff to shockingly take the 2022 PGA Championsip. Below, we look at five winners and losers from the second major of the season.

Winner: Justin Thomas makes final round run, grabs PGA Championship

PGA: PGA Championship - Final Round
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

After shooting a disastrous four-over 74 on Saturday, most figured Thomas was just playing out the string. Said round included six bogeys and some major struggles from the green. Boy, did Thomas have naysayers eating crow from Southern Hills on Sunday.

After bogeys on three and six, the Kentucky native played pretty flawless from that point on. He birdied the par-three 11 and followed that up with another birdie on 12 before finishing out his round with a one-under on 17 and hitting a par on after a brilliant tee shot.

As Thomas headed to the clubhouse, he was one shot behind Pereira. The hope was that he’d at least be given a chance to earn his second career major. That’s when Pereira’s tee on 18 went into the water — leading to a playoff between Thomas and Will Zalatoris. Thomas then outdid his counterpart in the the three-hole playoff, including a birdie on 17, to win his second major. What an epic comeback from an eight-shot deficit.

Loser: Scottie Scheffler fails to capture the magic

PGA: PGA Championship - Second Round
Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the PGA Championship, Scheffler was an overwhelming favorite after he took the Masters back in early April. Despite failing to finish in the top-15 of the Byron Nelson Classic, the 25-year-old Scheffler still shot minus-19.

It was not the same story in this tourney. Scheffler opened the PGA with an eagle on five in Round 1. At that point, it seemed like he was headed to domination mode. Unfortunately, he bogeyed five of the next nine holes to finish plus-one. Friday’s outing wasn’t much better with Scheffler hitting bogeys on four of his first six holes before a double bogey on nine. In the end, Scheffler finished plus-six and missed just his second cut of the season.

Winner: Will Zalatoris overcomes issues to make playoff

PGA: PGA Championship - Final Round
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

This youngster from San Francisco opened up the final round with a four bogeys on his first seven holes. At that point it seemed as if the Wake Forest product was going to be out of the running after finishing in the top-six in the Masters.

Zalatoris then hit a bogey on the par four 16, pretty much ending any hope. But as Pereira struggled through the back nine, Zalatoris came through clutch with a birdie on 17. After parring out on 18, his back-nine performance was enough for Zalatoris to earn a playoff in the PGA Champioship. While it was not enough to defeat Thomas, we absolutely love the way the 25-year-old golfer is playing right now.

Loser: Dustin Johnson struggles continued at the PGA Championship

PGA: PGA Championship - Second Round
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Since winning the 2020 Masters, things have spiraled out of control for this former top-ranked golfer. After finishing the 2020 season with five more top-five finishes, it’s been completely downhill.

Heading into the PGA Champshionship, Thomas had missed the cut in three of his past seven tournamets. He also finished plus-one and tied for 12th in the Masters. With only one top-10 finish this season, Thomas was looking to get back on track.

That did not happen. Thomas missed the cut completely after shooting plus three in each of the first two rounds. The two-time major winner hit four bogeys and a double bogey with three birdies in Round 2. This led to him finishing plus-three on Friday and missing the cut altogether.

Loser: Mito Pereira chokes away first PGA win

PGA: PGA Championship - Final Round
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

This 27-year-old Chile product had a three-stroke lead heading into Sunday’s final round. He shot minus-nine through the first 54 holes. All the former Olympian and Korn Ferry Tour champion needed to do was par out on the four-hole 18. He was up one despite struggling to the tune of plus-three through the first 17 holes.

In a meltdown that was go down in lore, Pereira hit the water on his tee shot on 18. He ended up with a double bogey — missing out on a playoff in the process. For an unknown such as Pereira, this is what he’ll be remembered for by the average golf fan. It was gut-wrenching to see. Stellar golf through 54 holes. A chance to win on 18. Even a bogey would have enabled him to take part in a three-man playoff. Instead, he had to head to the clubhouse knowing full well that he let this one slip away.