Justin Thomas shot a 3-under-par 68 in the final round to win his first major, finishing 8-under at the 99th PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday.
In the final major of the year, Thomas started the day at 5-under and was two shots behind leader Kevin Kisner. Hideki Matsuyama of Japan held a one-shot lead going into the back nine at 7-under.
Thomas was right on his heels, however, with birdies on the seventh and ninth holes leading up to his most memorable putt of the day on No. 10. Going for birdie, Thomas’ shot sat on the lip of the hole for 12 full seconds before dropping in. He birdied the 14th and 17th holes and had a three-shot lead standing on the 18th tee.
His bogey on the last hole made no difference after Kisner, who was two shots back and needed to hole his approach on 18 to tie Thomas, rinsed his second shot in the creek beside the 18th green.
It was the fourth win of the season for Thomas and his first since the Sony Open in Hawaii in January.
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Thomas, who made a bogey on the opening hole, credited patience for his victory.
“Obviously you play to win and I had a great opportunity to win today, but I just knew no matter where my game was at on the first tee I just had to be patient,” said Thomas, one of the United States’ top young golfers at 24 years old.
Olympians Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler were also in the hunt on the final day, with Reed finishing in a three-way tie for second place at 6-under and Fowler finishing tied for fifth at 5-under. Fellow Olympian Matt Kuchar was tied for ninth at 1-under and Bubba Watson missed the cut.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.