Mito Pereira will take a three-shot lead into the final day of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills after overcoming a shaky turn to surge out in front on Saturday. Pereira birdied the last to card a 69 and remain ahead of overnight leader Will Zalatoris and Matthew Fitzpatrick, who put himself into contention after shooting an excellent 67.
Rory McIlroy’s bid to end his major drought suffered a significant early blow, however. After a run of five straight pars, McIlroy pulled his tee shot to the par-three sixth into the water and ran up a double-bogey five to drop back to two under par. It would be followed by a triple-bogey six and although a run of birdies helped, McIlroy then dropped a further shot at the 18th to finish the day at level par overall.
Earlier in the day, Tiger Woods recorded his worst ever score in the PGA Championship as a successful battle to make the cut took a heavy toll at Southern Hills. Woods shot 79, his previous worst score in the US PGA being a 77 in the first round in 2011. “I just didn’t play well,” Woods said. “I didn’t hit the ball very well and got off to not the start I needed to get off to. I thought I hit a good tee shot down two and ended up in the water, and just never really got any kind of momentum on my side.”
It was confirmed after the conclusion of the third day that Woods had withdrawn from the tournament and the 46-year-old will not play in the fourth round.
Follow all the action on what promises to be an intriguing final day, below:
Tommy Fleetwood and Chris Kirk are both safely into the clubhouse with scores of (-3) for the tournemant. They are the two leaders in the clubhouse and will be keeping an eye on proceedings. There have been plenty of drop shots and there are plenty of holes still to play.
Justin Thomas (-4) errs on the par-3 14th but manages to recover to slot a six-foot putt home to save par and stay within three. If he can get into the clubhouse at five or six under he’ll have a proper chance of winning this.
Will Zalatoris attempts to cut the corner by going over the trees on 12 but hooks his drive into the rough. From there he’s scrambling to make par and gets left with a long putt to avoid dropping a shot.
Criminally he leaves it short and as a result fall to five under.
A great chip on 17 by Tommy Fleetwood leaves him with two feet left for a birdie that he taps in without too much trouble to move to (-3).
Rory McIlroy finally gets an eight-footer to fall as he pars the final hole to end the weekend at (-2). Not the result he would have been hoping for after the first round but it’ll be another top 10 finish.
It’s been hard going for the leading four players today. Only Cameron Young is under par for the round and his consistent play – picking up birdies after dropping shots – may lead him all the way to the title.
Mito Pereira (-7) is two over for his round but has just made a great par save on nine. Can he click into gear on the back nine and move further ahead?