2022 PGA Championship: Will Zaratoris, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy fight for history, heading into moving day

TULSA, Oklahoma — It’s always a few days before the heart of a major championship emerges, and the 2022 PGA Championship is no exception. After honing in on 36 holes in South Mountain and two days in a row about the consistency of the sand, the length of the grass on these slow greens and how strong the Oklahoma winds are blowing across the course, several came up. Terrific storyline.

Will Zalatoris, who led the game 66-65 in the first two rounds, will play with the retreating Mito Pereira on the weekend. Everyone is looking for his first PGA Tour victory, which is a huge difficulty (not to mention rare) feat accomplished in a major.

Zara Torres is the kind of ball-handler who can absolutely hold on. This is certainly not a problem. The narrative surrounding Zara Torres was whether his sometimes shaky putt shots could hold the lead in the last few rounds of low oxygen. This week, Zara Torres has yet to miss within 10 feet (18 of 18) and ranks first in putts. Of course, it won’t last, but it’s also probably irrelevant, as his ability to get from tee to green might make it completely irrelevant.

Pereira is a small version of the only one he follows. He’s excellent from tee to green, but goes well with the hot and cold short game. Pereira is trying to become the first Chilean to win a men’s Grand Slam, but more importantly for him, he is trying to win at this level for the first time ever. One thing he and Zara Torres have for them is that historically it was a very difficult place to play from the back in the majors. All seven of Nanshan’s major champions were either leading or tied after 36 holes.

Still, it will be the biggest test of the reality of that statistic given the ability of the players behind the top two.

This PGA was a little different from last year when Phil Mickelson led after 36 holes.In this case, the leader is this Story, as the weekend wore on, that never changed.However, this year, while the two leaders still have two days to make headlines in Tulsa, there is still plenty other The storylines surrounding them (including some that just sneaked into the weekend). Let’s take a look at six other top stories with two days left in the second major of the year.

1. Great opportunity for JT: This may be Justin Thomas’ best chance to win a second major since his 2017 win at Quail Hollow.While he’s not the most popular, maybe he should follow his fly ball way and Think about it near Nanshan in the first two days. Thomas had a tougher swing in rounds 1 and 2, one of only two golfers who started early the previous two days and finished in the top 9 of the current leaderboard.

The feeling around Thomas was that he was too talented to sit on a major victory. The only two players in front of him have never won at all, and they will be on equal footing in terms of conditions during the game. JT has appearance All week, now he has a chance to enter the player category reserved for Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka. This week, Zara Torres and Pereira are playing for the PGA. Thomas is fighting for a historic leap.

2. What can Loli summon? Friday was a disappointment for McIlroy, who led the first round on Thursday. He could only shoot a 71 on a day when his playing partners — Spieth and Tiger Woods — both broke par. McIlroy, like Thomas, has a legacy that hasn’t been extended in a long time. He destroyed the course with a driver in the first round, but didn’t give himself any scoring opportunities in the second round — he only had two birdies within 15 feet and made one of them. He’ll have to improve that approach on Saturday and Sunday to get his chance, but the upshot here is that he’s probably most likely to join JT’s final pair on Sunday — if the top two fall — in what would be the last 10 One of the most anticipated final round of major matchups of the year.

3. Tiger remains the proudest champion: While the early stages of Woods’ career—he ripped people to shreds like a predator—provided thrilling entertainment, this edition is more emotionally enlightening. Woods shot a 69 on Friday, giving him a weekend he shouldn’t have played. He’s now in the first two majors of the year, something that neither Spieth, Scottie Schaeffler, Patrick Cantley, Dustin Johnson or Zand Schaeffler can do said.

Tiger was fun to watch in 2000 and 2005, but now he’s emotionally connecting with the older generation. In 2022, when he’s only cutting sting and determination, he’s trying to do the best thing he’s ever done, which is the most relevant thing in the world. Happy Friday, and while he won’t win on Sunday, the final two days will celebrate what it means to be the greatest player in history. As McIlroy said Friday night, “He’s the ultimate pro.”

4. The third one for Bubba? Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson has finished in the top 10 only three times in 55 majors, and only once since he won the 2014 Masters (2018 Masters). He’s shot a 63 so far this week, with two bogeys in the round, his putting is about average on the field, and he’s pretty much caused his putt from tee to green. All damage. His nine birdies were a career-best in a major, and his 63 tied Nanshan’s course record. Watson, who is fourth after two rounds, may not last. But if he somehow makes it to the third major league at age 43, that would certainly change our perception of his historic significance. While he’s almost certainly already a Hall of Fame golfer, winning here would be no question.

5. Redemption Story: Stewart Cink missed a putt less than 2 feet on the final hole during the 2001 U.S. Open at South Hills, which would have put him in Monday’s season with Mark Brooks and Retiff Goosen. playoffs. Now 21 years later (!), a 48-year-old Cink is T8 on the board and legally mixed 36 holes. It’s almost certainly not going to happen, but the story of Cink trading his 2001 nightmare for the dream end of his Grand Slam career would be extraordinary.

6. Cameron Smith lurks: The guy I’ve been following all week is Smith. He shot a 68 on Thursday and a 70 on Friday, and while his T10 form on the leaderboard may not be impressive, he leads the field in near-court shooting and is usually the best or best in the field. There is nothing in the world of good short game. He shot a 65 on Saturday, and if that happens, he could hit one of the final pair on Sunday afternoon.

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