On this episode of Stick and Hack On-Air, Adam and Keith break down their reactions to the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As a PGA Professional, Keith had an inside look at all of the storylines from the grounds of Southern Hills over the past week. 

From Tiger’s performance and Saturday withdrawal to Mito Pereira’s collapse on 18, we will discuss it all. To watch the full episode and leave your reactions, click here. Subscribe to the Stick and Hack YouTube channel to never miss an episode! 

PGA Championship and Mito Pereira’s Collapse on 18

As it seems to go at every major, there were an endless amount of stories for us to follow throughout the week which lead to Keith giving this tournament a two thumbs up. To start the event, Tulsa had 90-degree temperatures with heavy winds but by Saturday morning, a front had rolled in and it was 30 degrees colder than it was for the first round. The heavy winds, unforgiving course conditions, and temperature changes made it difficult for any player to go low over the weekend. 

From the start of the tournament on Thursday until the final playoff hole, there was not a favorite on the leaderboard and it seemed to be anyone’s tournament. To make things even more interesting, the top of the leaderboard on Sunday was filled with players who had never won a PGA Tour event, let alone a major which would have been the first time this has happened since Danny Willet at the Masters in 2016. This streak would have been broken if it wasn’t for Justin Thomas hunting his way up the leaderboard on Sunday from seven shots back which hasn’t happened since 1978. 

Mito Pereira held the lead for the majority of the weekend and into Sunday morning. Even though he started off with a couple of bogeys, he was able to hold the lead until his final hole of the day while JT sat anxiously by as the leader in the clubhouse. When Mito hit what was supposed to be a safety shot with a driver on the 18th hole, it was clear that the nerves had got to him and it looked as if he was electrocuted on his downswing. This drive found the water and he knew he was in trouble. After hitting his now third shot long of the green, hitting his chip shot back across the green and leaving his fifth shot short, he was officially out of the running after holding the lead since Saturday. 

Every player at every level has felt this type of pressure in some way. Whether it’s a $5 skins match or a Major Championship, golf has a way of bringing out the nerves in anyone. There is no teammate to rely on, it’s only you and your practice once you are on the course. Most impressively of all, Mito showed complete class after his round by answering all of the media questions with his head held high. All he can do now is learn from this experience and work to put himself in that position again in the future. 

Justin Thomas’ Comeback

If we can take anything away from JT’s performance this week it’s the fact that you should never consider yourself out of it. He was not even in the discussion heading into the final round as he sat seven shots behind the leader. With JT already clocking eight top 10s on tour this season and a worst finish of T35, you can never count him out. He maintained his cool throughout the week to become the 10th son of a PGA Professional to win the PGA Championship. This is JT’s second major, both being PGA Championships. 

We have to give JT all of the credit in the world for coming from behind to win with all of the expectations set on him and the criticism that he faces from the media on a weekly basis. He proved himself once again as one of the best players in the world and a genuinely great ambassador for the game of golf. He represents the game in a great way and next year we will be able to promote him as the previous champion at Oak Hill where he will surely be a favorite once again. 

Subscribe for More and Leave Your Reactions

To hear Adam and Keith discuss the topics above and more from the past week including Will Zalatoris’ disastrous putting stroke, Tiger’s withdrawal, Phil Mickelson’s absence, a Jack Nicklaus lawsuit, and more, click here. As always, we’d love to hear your reactions from the past week so leave a comment!

Layne Gustafson

Layne Gustafson is a self-described golf fanatic from Green Bay, Wis. He’s been working in the golf industry since 2014, including at Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits. He hovers between a single- and double-digit handicap and is always working on improving.