US golf star Justin Thomas wins his second major title at the PGA Championship. The man who carries his golf bag and is at his side with advice and action plays a large part in this. Not doing well superstar Tiger Woods is delighted with his pal's triumph.
Caddy legend Jim "Bones" Mackay lovingly hugged Justin Thomas on the 18th green of the Southern Hills Country Club and hugged the US golf star to his chest for what felt like an eternity. Seconds earlier, Thomas had sunk the crucial putt in the playoff against fellow countryman Will Zalatoris to triumph at the 104th PGA Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma. "He did an incredible job," Thomas later thanked Mackay, who has been carrying his golf bag and advising him since last fall. "It's an incredible team success for us."
One of the first to wish well was Thomas' friend Tiger Woods. "Congratulations to @JustinThomas34!" the superstar tweeted. "He stayed in this championship to the end and when he got his chance he didn't look back. Thanks to Tulsa and the @PGAChampionship for a great week." However, things did not go so well for Woods in Tulsa. Due to severe pain in his right leg, the 15-time major winner did not compete in the final round. The 46-year-old Californian retired from a major tournament for the first time in his professional career. For Woods, it was only the second PGA tournament since his serious car accident in February 2021, in which he broke his right leg several times.
On the other hand, Thomas started a terrific comeback on Sunday in the second major tournament of the year with Mackay at his side. The 29-year-old from Louisville in the US state of Kentucky went into the final day seven strokes behind Mito Pereira from Chile who had been leading after three rounds. Thanks to a strong final round of 67 on the par 70 course, he fought his way into the jump-off over three extra holes against Zalatoris. Pereira, on the other hand, couldn't stand the pressure and fell back to tied third place after a weak lap of 75.
Thomas then kept his nerve in the jump-off and made the second major title of his career perfect. In 2017 he had already won the PGA Championship in Quail Hollow. For his 15th win on the PGA Tour, Thomas received the massive Wanamaker trophy and a $2.7 million prize money check. Thomas' caddy beamed all over his face at the award ceremony. Mackay has become a celebrity on the PGA Tour through his work with US star Phil Mickelson. Mackay, now 57, had been Mickelson's caddy for 25 years before the two ended their successful collaboration in July 2017. Mickelson himself did not compete in Tulsa as the defending champion. Last year, the then 50-year-old made history as the oldest winner of a major tournament.