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Pereira implosion sees Thomas swoop; Guardiola avoids more heartbreak

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Justin Thomas has won the US PGA Championship after a dramatic finish at Southern Hills in Oklahoma. Mito Pereira stood on the 18th tee needing just a par to become the first Chilean man to win a major, but could only find the water as his implosion quickly knocked him out of the reckoning. That left Thomas squaring off with Will Zalatoris in a three-hole playoff, the former ultimately prevailing to win this tournament for the second time. Rory McIlroy threatened a miraculous surge back into contention after an early run of four straight birdies, but ultimately Saturday's disappointing effort of 74 left him with too much work to do.

Speaking of drama, with Manchester City down 2-0 well into the second half of their final Premier League game of the season, Liverpool fans were allowed to dream of a famous last-gasp title snatch. They were drawing with Wolves when Villa scored their second in Manchester, but by the time they took the lead in the closing stages, City had staged a remarkable comeback to win 3-2 and ensure they did not implode as they had done in the Champions League. In his column this morning, Ken Early looks at the role of City boss Pep Guardiola in the day of drama: "Guardiola's face crumpled into sobs as the immense stress of the last two weeks flooded out of his body in a sweet tidal surge of relief. It was just a few minutes since he had come face to face with the most brutal disappointment of his career."

"It's a game that haunts many of us, for sure. You want to be better off on the back of those haunting experiences, shall we say. We'll see. Both teams have rested players that played in the semi-finals." Those were the words of Leo Cullen after Leinster's convincing win over Munster at the Aviva Stadium. Clearly, given the side that was selected by the URC's top seed, the focus was always primarily on the Champions Cup final against La Rochelle, the team that knocked Leinster out of that competition last season, a defeat that still lingers. As for Munster, their disparaging defeat leaves them with the long road to the URC final, with all potential quarter and semi-final matches away from home. Though they do at least play on this island against Ulster in two weeks' time, their draw means they will not play at Thomond again this season.

Clare are the front-runners of the chasing pack behind Limerick now the All-Ireland hurling line-up is complete. So says Nicky English in his analysis of the weekend's Munster action where Cork and Clare blew past Tipperary and Waterford respectively. Waterford in particular wrapped up a disappointing few weeks after their league form promised so much more. Here's what English had to say: "They were my pick for the All-Ireland six weeks ago and I have no idea what's happened to them since they won the league, but there's obviously something fundamentally wrong. It's massively disappointing for a team that has promised a lot over the past couple of years and was felt to be closing the gap on Limerick." Malachy Clerkin rounds up a day of hurling that promised to excite, but ended up being largely predictable: "A round of games that began with every team having something to play for turned out to have people checking the soccer scores by half-time. The hurling certainly had no mysteries left to reveal."

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