The latest on the final round of the PGA Championship (all times local):
Will Zalatoris had just made back-to-back birdies and found himself tied for the lead with Mito Pereira in the final round of the PGA Championship when he flew over the green at the par-3 sixth and the ball came to rest at the inside a shrub. .
Zalatoris was given a penalty stroke for an unplayable lie and then had to pull away from the new spot as a TV tower stood in his way. He ended up falling on the paved cart path and pitched from there onto the green, the shot coming to rest about 8 feet from the hole. He made the putt for a crucial bogey.
As Zalatoris fired a shot, Pereira fired a short birdie putt in the fifth to take a two-shot lead.
The leaders came off the tee for the final round of the PGA Championship, with Chile’s Mito Pereira trying to become South America’s third big winner and Matt Fitzpatrick trying to find it three strokes back.
Pereira has never won on the PGA Tour, let alone won a major tournament. Shaun Micheel, who won the 2003 championship at Oak Hill, is the last full-time player on the tour to earn a major win.
Pereira, 27, is no stranger, however. He lost a bronze medal qualifier at the Tokyo Olympics.
There are plenty of birdies available at Southern Hills in the final round of the PGA Championship, if only someone within shouting distance of the leader is able to string a few together.
Rory McIlroy looked like the guy early on Sunday. He snatched four in a row to go from an even par for the tournament to less than five from the lead, only to hit a bad chip shot at the par-3 sixth and drop a shot there.
The back nine in particular should be interesting. The par-5 13th is accessible in half for most of the field, but it presents a quintessential risk-reward situation. The same goes for the 17th, a par-4 accessible from the tee for just about anyone that should present an easy birdie opportunity before the long and difficult uphill 18th.
Big winners for the first time are nothing new in golf during this next generation of stars. The PGA Championship is no exception.
Mito Pereira of Chile has a three shot lead going into the final round in Southern Hills. He’s trying to become the first PGA Tour rookie since Keegan Bradley in the 2011 PGA Championship to win a major.
He is pursued by England’s Matt Fitzpatrick and Will Zalatoris. Neither won a major. Fitzpatrick is a two-time English Ryder Cup player. But he only has one top 10 finish in the 24 majors he’s played as a pro. Zalatoris was a 2021 Masters finalist.
Cameron Young had never made a cut in a major until this week. He is four strokes behind.
Eight of the last 13 PGA champions had never won a major. It’s roughly the same ratio for the Masters and the US Open.
The big champions closest to the lead are Stewart Cink, Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson. All are seven strokes behind.
Departure of the final group at 2:35 p.m.
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