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Justin Thomas wins US PGA Championship after Mito Pereira heartbreak

Thomas wins US PGA Championship after Pereira heartbreak
© Reuters
Justin Thomas wins the US PGA Championship in a playoff after long-time leader Mito Pereira dropped out of contention on the final hole at Southern Hills.

Justin Thomas has defeated Will Zalatoris in a three-way playoff to win the US PGA Championship at Southern Hills, capitalising on long-time leader Mito Pereira's double-bogey on the final hole.

Thomas, the 2017 champion, started the day seven holes adrift of Pereira, but an outstanding back nine put him back in contention while the players above him, all searching for their first Major crown, fell away.

The American set the bar in the clubhouse at five-under-par, a total matched by Zalatoris who holed a fine 10-footer on the last, but they were not joined by Pereira who led all day only to succumb to a wayward tee shot on 18.

The three-way playoff was of high quality, Thomas posting birdies on the first two holes to establish a one-shot lead, and after Zalatoris failed to make a three on the last, Thomas two-putted from around 25 feet to claim his second Major crown.

While the top two were left to compete in a playoff, Pereira could only contemplate what may have been, the Chilean having gone within millimetres of opening a two-shot lead heading into the final hole to miscuing his tee shot into the water.

An up and down for bogey from deep in the greenside rough was eventually required to stay in the tournament, but Pereira could only post a double, recording a final-round 75 to share third spot with Cameron Young.

The English duo of Matt Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood - as well as Chris Kirk - tied for fifth, Fitzpatrick having been in contention for the win until a bogey on 17.

Northern Irishman Rory McIlory carded a 68 on Sunday to finish the tournament in eighth place, with Ireland's Seamus Power one of four players to claim ninth position.

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