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Cal Alum Max Homa Ties for 13th at the PGA Championship, His Best Finish at a Major

Justin Thomas wins in a playoff after an 18th-hole blowup by Chile's Mita Pereira.

Max Homa delivered the best — and most consistent — performance of his major championships career on Sunday, finishing in a tie for 13th place at the 104th PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa Oklahoma.

Homa, a 31-year-old Cal graduate, shot a 1-over 71 in the final round and wound up with an even-par score of 280. Homa shot 70-69-70-71 over the four days.

Max Homa

This was the first time Homa has ever finished higher than a tie for 40th place at one of golf’s four majors — the Masters, U.S. Open, PGA and British Open. Ranked No. 28 on the world list, Homa was 1-under though his first six holes on Sunday, briefly climbing to as high as eighth place.

But bogeys on the seventh, 10th and 11th holes pushed him back down the leaderboard.

Homa's seven-way split for 13th place earned him $253,753.

Meanwhile, two-time major winner Collin Morikawa finally found a groove on Sunday, albeit too late to matter on the final leaderboard. With four birdies over his final six holes, the world’s third-ranked player wound up with an even-par 70 for the day and climbed to a tie for 55th place at plus-8 for the week.

Justin Thomas, who was seven strokes off the lead when the day began, beat Will Zalatoris in a three-hole playoff to take the title. Both finished 72 holes at minus-5, and only advanced to the playoff following the grim misfortune of would-be winner Mito Pereira.

Each player birdied the par-5 13th hole, but Thomas gained a one-stroke edge when he birded No. 17 and Zalatoris made par. When Thomas parred the 18th, it was over.

Thomas, who won the 2017 PGA, captured his 15th tour title, his first since The Players Championship in 2021. He pocketed $2.7 million for winning. Zalatoris, a 25-year-old native of San Francisco who was seeking his first tour victory, took home $1,620,000.

Pereira, a 27-year-old Chilean Olympian, took a three-stroke lead into the final round and had a one-stroke lead over Thomas and Zalatoris when he got to the 18th. Then he hit his tee shot into the water to the right of the fairway. After the penalty, Pereira’s third shot landed to the right of the green. His chip rolled all the way across the green — nowhere close to the hole — and off the other side.

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He two-putted from there for a double-bogey when all he needed was a par, costing him a chance at his first win in a major and a difference of nearly $2 million in prize money.

"Obviously, sad to be here and not in the playoff, not make par, just straight win," Pereira said. "On 18, I wasn't even thinking about the water. I just wanted to put it in play, and I guess I aimed too far right. I just hit in the water. ... I mean, I wish I could do it again."

Cameron Young, who had never made the cut in any of three previous major events, finished in a tie for third with Pereira at minus-4. But the 25-year-old was in contention to win before a double-bogey on the 16th hole.

Pereira and Young each earned $870,000.

Morikawa, 25, who won the 2020 PGA Championship at Harding Park in San Francisco, delivered his best round of the weekend, thanks to a strong finishing run. He shot 72, 72 and 74 over the first three days.

He was at 3-over for the day after a bogey on No. 10, but strung together three straight birdies on Nos. 13, 14 and 15. He bogey the 16th but made another birdie in 17 to get even for the day, then parred the final hole.

Amazingly, his four birdies over the final six holes were as many as Morikawa totaled over the first three days.

This was Morikawa’s worst performance in his past six majors. In five previous outings, he won the 2021 British Open, finished in the top-10 three other times and was 18th at the 2021 Masters.

In those five majors he had 81 birdies, 54 bogeys, two eagles and four double-bogeys. His stat line for this week at Southern Hills: Nine birdies, 13 bogeys, zero eagles, two double-bogeys.

Cover photo of Max Homa by Orlando Ramirez, USA Today

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo