McIlroy’s last question was posed on Zoom. It was about the 2012 PGA Championship and how important a moment in McIlroy’s young career was to win a second major. After looking back at Thomas, McIlroy sensed an opportunity and executed, with surgical precision, what could turn out to be his best shot of the week.
“Yeah, that was huge,” he said, leaning over the second part of his answer, his eyes fixed on Thomas. “A lot of guys have won a major, but it’s a big hurdle to get to the second. It was good to get rid of this monkey. I definitely didn’t want to get stuck on just one for a long time, so happy to get that second.
Thomas, the 2017 PGA Champion, could not help but shake his head.
“Well done,” he sighed.
PGA Championship: tee times | Full coverage
After the presser, McIlroy lingered on the platform for an additional moment. The four-time major champion opened his arms and kissed Thomas.
After getting a chance to offer a rebuttal minutes later, Thomas swallowed his pride and hit the high road – well, sort of.
“I can’t really say too much,” he said, “other than it’s great to see him win. I know it’s been a very long time for him so I’m happy to see him win.
Ah, yes, another subtle but well calculated dig – the victory at Wells Fargo was McIlroy’s first since November 2019. Thomas had won three events during that time.
“But at the same time,” said Thomas, “I really don’t want to push him because usually when he wins he likes to play it, and with a lot of big tournaments coming up, I don’t really do that. want to sting the bear.