Justin Thomas Wins the P.G.A. Championship With a Roaring Comeback

Thomas, who entered the final round seven shots behind the leader, beat Will Zalatoris in a playoff to win his second career major championship.

TULSA, Okla. — The dominant story line before the 2022 P.G.A. Championship revolved around Phil Mickelson, who became the oldest major champion last year when he won the event at age 50 but chose not to defend his title. Then the focus of the tournament shifted to Tiger Woods, 46, who arrived at the Southern Hills Country Club to resume his stirring comeback from injuries he sustained in a horrific car crash 15 months ago. But Woods struggled physically, and mired in last place after three rounds, he withdrew before Sunday’s final round.

What evolved instead on the last day of the P.G.A. Championship was a glimpse of elite men’s golf’s youthful future, not its aging past. On a nervy, topsy-turvy afternoon in eastern Oklahoma, there was yet another dramatic showdown between the dazzling, hard-swinging 20-somethings who have overtaken the game.

In a taut, three-hole aggregate playoff after the 18-hole fourth round ended in a tie, Justin Thomas, 29, held off the 25-year-old rising star Will Zalatoris to win his second P.G.A. Championship. The last four winners of golf’s major championships, Thomas; Scottie Scheffler, at the Masters; Collin Morikawa, at the British Open; and Jon Rahm, the reigning U.S. Open champion, are in their 20s.