PGA champ Thomas not alone in going to Colonial from Tulsa

May 25, 2022, 3:36 AM | Updated: 3:54 pm
FILE -  Justin Thomas waves after making a putt on the 14th hole during the final round of the PGA ...

FILE - Justin Thomas waves after making a putt on the 14th hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Southern Hills Country Club, Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Justin Thomas made the 300-mile trip south to Colonial the day after winning the PGA Championship, had some lunch and then went to the gym to work up a sweat. His practice sessions this week have been short and efficient.

It was a needed couple of days to recoup and get his mind and body ready to play again after rallying from seven shots back to become a two-time major champion.

“Obviously, I want to enjoy it and I don’t want to just act like it didn’t happen because it did, but at the same time I have a week next week off potentially to just enjoy it,” Thomas said Wednesday after playing a nine-hole pro-am. “I have a golf tournament this week, and I’m just trying to perform and play as well as I possibly can.”

Thomas wasn’t alone in traveling from Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Colonial Country Club, where the No. 5 player in the world is competing for the third consecutive year.

Seven of the top-10 finishers from the PGA Championship are in the 120-player field for the Charles Schwab Challenge that tees off Thursday. That includes runner-up Will Zalatoris after the three-hole aggregate playoff and Mito Pereira, whose 72nd-hole double bogey knocked him out of the lead and kept him from making the playoff.

Zalatoris lives in the Dallas area, but didn’t even show up at Colonial until Wednesday. He said he was trying to get his energy level back up after his fourth top-10 finish in his last five majors.

“Got a lot of rest the last few days. I practically just slept — I didn’t realize how tired I really was,” said Zalatoris, the 14th-ranked player who two weeks ago missed the cut at his hometown Byron Nelson.

Thomas will play the first two rounds in a group with defending Colonial champ Jason Kokrak and Scottie Scheffler, the world’s No. 1 player even after he missed the cut at Southern Hills. Zalatoris is with former Colonial champs Justin Rose (2018) and Kevin Kisner (2017) in a group just ahead of Pereira.

The last seven Colonial winners, and nine former champions overall, are set to play. There are six of the world’s top 10 players — and 11 of the top 25 — with ninth-ranked Jordan Spieth the only Colonial winner also in that group.

Kokrak won at Colonial last May in a final-group showdown with Spieth, who led at the end of each of the first three rounds before a closing 3-over 73. He finished two strokes behind Kokrak, who after 65s in each of the first two rounds, finished with five bogeys and five birdies to shoot even part the last day.

That was the second career PGA Tour win for the 37-year-old Kokrak, the big hitter who added a third at the Houston Open last November in the early part of this season. But his best finish in 11 tournaments since was a tie for 14th at the Masters.

“Anytime you get to come back to Colonial or any place that you’ve had success, you get great vibes, you get some good mojo coming into the week,” Kokrak said.

Ben Hogan won the first two Colonials in 1946 and 1947, and his five wins overall include another back-to-back in 1952-53. But those are the only consecutive wins for anyone in the PGA Tour’s longest-running event at the same venue.

The 28-year-old Spieth is making his 10th start at Colonial, where the Dallas native won in 2016. He has seven top 10s there, and last year was his third runner-up finish.

“I think the results show that I love this place. It seems to for whatever reason fit my game really well, and I really enjoy playing it,” Speith said. “It requires some precision in the wind off the tee, obviously hitting fairways being of huge importance here, given how difficult it is out of the rough.”

Spieth won the RBC Heritage in mid-April, and his next event was a runner-up finish at his hometown Nelson. He was 34th at the PGA Championship, but felt good about how he played now going to a very familiar course.

“I actually stroked it. I felt like I putted the best I’ve putted this year last week, and it just doesn’t show on the stats. But it was the most free-flowing strokes I’ve had,” Spieth said. “I think it’s a matter of time before the lid comes off and I start to pour some in. A little disappointing that didn’t happen last week. I misread a lot of putts. Out here, I don’t really have the excuse of misreading putts.”


More AP golf: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bump & Stacy Show


Norway's Casper Rudd plays a return to France's Ugo Humbert in a second round men's singles match o...
Associated Press

French Open runner-up Ruud loses in 2nd round at Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Yet another of the highest-ranked players on the men’s tour is out of the tournament at Wimbledon. Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal are not among them. Casper Ruud, the runner-up to Nadal at this year’s French Open, became the seventh of the top 11-ranked male players to be out of the […]
1 day ago
FILE - Barclays Center Chief Executive Officer Brett Yormark is shown during a press conference at ...
Associated Press

Big 12 picks Roc Nation’s Brett Yormark as next commissioner

DALLAS (AP) — Brett Yormark, an executive with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and former CEO of the Brooklyn Nets, was named Big 12 commissioner Wednesday, another unconventional hire by a major conference amid the rapidly changing landscape of college athletics. Yormark is taking over for Bob Bowlsby, who came to the league a decade ago after […]
1 day ago
Tropicana Field is viewed after a baseball game, June 5, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The mayor of...
Associated Press

St. Pete mayor reopens talks on future of Rays stadium site

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida, is reopening talks about the future of the Tropicana Field site where baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays play their home games. Mayor Ken Welch said Wednesday that two previous proposals for the 86-acre (348,000-square-meter) downtown location are being scrapped, with a new round of plans […]
1 day ago
Serena Williams of the US waves as she leaves the court after losing to France's Harmony Tan in a f...
Associated Press

Analysis: If this was it for Williams at Wimbledon, it works

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — If this turns out to have been the last time the world gets to watch Serena Williams at Wimbledon — and she says she doesn’t know, so how could the rest of us? — it would not be how she would want to depart, naturally. Yet it still would be, in […]
1 day ago
France's Harmony Tan celebrates after beating Serena Williams of the US in a first round women's si...
Associated Press

Tan’s doubles partner angered by Wimbledon withdrawal

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — A day after eliminating Serena Williams from Wimbledon in her debut at the grass-court Grand Slam, Harmony Tan surprised and angered her doubles partner by withdrawing from that tournament on Wednesday with a thigh injury. Tan, a Frenchwoman ranked 115th who beat the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 […]
1 day ago
FILE - Archbishop Gregory Aymond conducts the procession to lead a live streamed Easter Mass in St....
Associated Press

FBI opens sweeping probe of clergy sex abuse in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The FBI has opened a widening investigation into sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in New Orleans going back decades, a rare federal foray into such cases looking specifically at whether priests took children across state lines to molest them, officials and others familiar with the inquiry told The Associated […]
1 day ago
PGA champ Thomas not alone in going to Colonial from Tulsa