Golf Talk With Greg Holman – #79

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I was wrong again. I thought Justin Thomas could finish in the top ten but in the last blog I picked Collin Morikawa to win the PGA. By now you probably know J.T. took the title. Thomas battled the elements to post a 5 under score and win his second Wanamaker trophy. It took three extra holes with Will Zalatoris to accomplish the feat.

Rookie Mito Pereira was leading the tournament going into Sunday’s final round but ballooned to a 5 over 75 opening the door for Thomas, who came back from seven shots to claim the victory.

Rory McIlroy led after the first round with his five under, 65, but shot 74 Saturday to end his bid for another major.

The weather was definitely a factor going from windy to cold. Many of the pros had difficulty putting in round two when a decision was made not to cut the greens for fear they would dry out with the wind and make downhill putts impossible. Instead they were bumpy and slow.

Everybody always wants to know about Tiger Woods. After a slow start, he shot 69 in the second round to make the cut at +3, but the weekend was torture on Woods’ body, who is still recuperating after a car crash, forcing him to withdraw from the 4th round. Tiger will rehab but it remains to be seen if he will be ready to start in the 3rd Major of the year, The U.S. Open on Father’s Day weekend at the country club in Brookline, Mass.

Thomas was lights out in the three hole playoff with birdie, birdie, par. Zalatoris brought his A-game and still lost, shooting birdie, par, par. The knock against Zalatoris is his putting stroke.

Back in the early days, Bobby Locke was considered to be one of the best putters of is day and he hooked every putt, same with Billy Caspar. Gary Player didn’t have a long flowing putting stroke. He was a wrist putter and jabbed at the ball, but it worked for him. It’s a given that you have to be a good putter to win.

Even the great Ben Hogan, arguably the best ball striker the game had ever seen, got the yips in his later days and could no longer win. Sam Snead said, “If only I could putt,” and he won 82 tournaments. Of course he was a decent putter. The stats show that Justin Thomas is the #3 putter on tour. Zalatoris is tied for 136th. That shows how good a player he is from tee to green.

He almost pulled it off. If he can improve his putting, he’ll have an excellent chance to win the open.

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