sport
Matt Fitzpatrick in action at the 104th US PGA Championship. Image Credit: Supplied

I have just arrived back home in the UK after a long flight and trip to the 104th USPGA Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Firstly, congratulations to Justin Thomas on winning his second USPGA Championship. A worthy champion.

I thought seven shots back with a round to go was, perhaps, just too much ground to make up, but he did it, and the others did not! Only three players in the eventual Top 7 broke par on the final day.

Matt Fitzpatrick was really disappointed with his final round, he admitted he just did not perform and with a 73 had to settle for tied 5th. This is Matt’s second career Top 10 in a Major following his tied 7th in the 2016 Masters.

It was his first time in the last group in the final round of a Major.

Came close

A final back nine yesterday of 34 would have earned him the title. His previous back nines (Holes 10 – 18) were 34, 34 and 32, so it just shows us all how close Matt was.

Matt was so unlucky on the wrong side of the draw with the windy weather conditions in the first two rounds, but then again so was Thomas.

Matt will take confidence and learn from this performance and I predict he will come back stronger from this disappointment, that is his character. He is still only 27 years old, he still has plenty of time and is still improving.

This performance moves Matt to 15th in the OWGR and the leading Englishman in the Rankings.

Looking at the names at the top of the leaderboard it seems it is full of so many new names and youngsters, or is that just me?

Is it another changing of the guard? An interesting fact was that so few winners of PGA Tour events were up there in the mix and this may explain a lot about the final day’s golf.

As is always said, Majors are decided on the last nine on Sunday with tiny margins and this is where experience comes into play.

Good news from Team Fitzpatrick was that his caddy Billy Foster, a loyal Leeds United fan, was able to have a celebration of sorts as his team survived its relegation battle on the last day of the season in the Premiere League at the expense of Burnley FC.

My two other players making the cut: Brooks Koepka and Thomas Pieters were disappointed with their performances and finishes (tied 55th at + 8 and tied 71st at + 12 respectively), but that is probably how the 2022 USPGA Championship will be remembered. What might have been?

Great chance

Rory McIlroy also had a great chance, especially as he was five under with three rounds to go and was on the right side of the draw for the first two rounds. Three level par 70’s would have taken the Wanamaker Trophy. This Major was all set-up for Rory especially as he had a final round of 68.

My next tournament is likely to be at Slaley Hall in North East England on the Asian Tour in the first week of June, where Graeme McDowell will tee it up and then off to the US Open at Brookline, MA, in just 24 day’s time for the third Major of the year.

On the brighter side it was good to see three European players in the Top 9, Fitzpatrick joined on five under by Tommy Fleetwood, and the fast finishing Rory in eighth place with Ireland’s Seamus Power a shot behind Rory.

This week is a reminder to us all to keep trying 100% on every shot, whether you are an amateur or one of the world’s best players.

You never know how the tournament will finish!

- Peter Cowen, 71, A Dubai Golden VISA Awardee, is recognised as one of the leading golf coaches in the world of golf. A former DP World Tour Professional he has his Peter Cowen Academies in Dubai, at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, Emirates Golf Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates. Peter lives in England and headquarters his Peter Cowen Academies in Rotherham.