Alabama Crimson Tide: Justin Thomas wins second Major in PGA playoff

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /

If there was any doubt, on Sunday afternoon in Tulsa, Justin Thomas established himself as the greatest Alabama Crimson Tide golfer of all time. Prior to Sunday, Jerry Pate’s 1976 U.S. Open win probably gave him an edge over Thomas.

Now with two majors and an outstanding Ryder Cup career, Thomas is the Crimson Tide golfing GOAT. Having turned 29 last month, Thomas has at least another decade and a half to chase down more Major wins.

Coming back from being seven down at the start of Sunday’s round is also a major achievement. Only twice before has a golfer started farther back and won a Major. And for Justin, it got worse before it got better on Sunday. At one point Thomas was eight strokes off the lead.

Thomas posted a pair of superb 67s on Thursday and Friday, playing in tough conditions. When play began on Saturday, Thomas was three shots behind Will Zalatoris and two strokes back of Mito Pereira. On Saturday, Thomas almost shot himself out of contention. With six bogeys and only two birdies, he carded a 74.

In Sunday’s final round, Thomas bogeyed two of his first six holes. His chances for a second PGA Championship appeared bleak. He kept grinding and as the leaders came back to him, he birdied four of the last 10 holes in the fourth round.

In a three-hole Playoff with Will Zalatoris, Thomas birdied the first two holes. All he needed for the win was a four on the 490-yard, demanding 18th hole, that all week seasoned pros described as a beast. The par four was the week’s toughest on a Southern Hills layout that some pros described as too tough for a fair competition.

Speaking about Southern Hills and his stunning comeback, Thomas said,

"It was a bizarre day. This place is so tough. I was asked early in the week what lead is safe, I said ‘no lead.’ I just stayed patient and found myself in a playoff."

The only other PGA Champion to come from seven back in a final round was John Mahaffey in 1978. Mahaffey won in a three-way playoff, over golfing legend Tom Watson and Jerry Pate.

Justin Thomas was also a great Alabama Crimson Tide golfer

Justin Thomas led the Alabama Crimson Tide Men’s team to a National Championship in 2013 and a national runner-up finish in 2012.

Next. Don't miss our Montana Fouts tribute. dark

Justin Thomas now has 17 professional wins, including 15 PGA Tour wins. Along with getting to hoist the coveted Wanamaker Trophy a second time, Thomas earned $2.7M from his second PGA Championship. With the win, Thomas has now earned almost $50M in tournament winnings.