Charlotte, North Carolina – Justin Thomas fired a final round 68 to win the 99th PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his first career major championship. Entering the final round two shots back, Thomas made a back nine run that started with his birdie putt on the tenth that hung over the lip of the hole for just about 10 seconds before it finally dropped. At the thirteenth, he chipped in from 13 yards away to increase his lead to two shots. After a striped 7 iron on the par 3 – seventeenth, he buried a 15 ft putt to reach 9 under par and all but put away the battle for the Wannamaker. An errant drive at the last cost him a shot, but not the victory, he finished at 8 under par winning by two shots.
Quail Hollow proved to be a stern test despite plenty of rain that made conditions much softer tee to green than Kerry Haig and the PGA were looking for, but the new greens at Quail Hollow that are equipped with Sub-Air, kept the putting surfaces firm and and fast throughout the week. Finally, over the weekend the weather in the Queen City cooperated and the field staff set up the course for some Sunday scoring (with 25 players shooting under par rounds, 15 of those were in the 60’s).
Afterwards the new PGA Champion spoke to the media “I can’t put into words, I wish my Grandpa could be here for it, it’s so special to get it done. I’m glad we have a trophy now”
Challengers Hideki Matsuyama (who shot a final round 73), and 54 hole leader Kevin Kisner (74) fell off the pace early on the back nine, but a new group of players joined the fray late Sunday – Francesco Molinari and Patrick Reed both fired 4 under par 67 to tie for second with Louis Oosthuizen who shot 70. The runner up finish for Oosthuizen marked his fourth runner up finish in a each of the 4 majors for his career, (he referred to it as the “Runner-up Grand Slam”).
In winning the PGA Championship, Justin Thomas became the eighth player in history to do so as the son of a PGA Professional. Justin’s father Mike is a PGA Master Professional at Harmony Landing Golf Course in Goshen, Kentucky. His Grandfather Paul, is a retired PGA professional who has been a member since 1956.