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It was confirmed after the conclusion of the third day that Woods had withdrawn from the tournament and the 46-year-old will not play in the fourth round.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:
Now then. Mito Pereira drops back down to eight-under after his par putt on the third rolls around the back of the hole and lips out. Is the door ajar for the chasing pack?
Matt Fitzpatrick (-5) steadily knocks his putt in for par. It’s been a good response from him since the bogey on the first hole.
Putts not dropping for McIlroy
Rory has a 30-ft putt on the 11th for a birdie and sends it curling down the right line but it just runs out of gas a few inches before the hole.
A potentially tricky chip for Pereira is flicked to within five-six feet by the leader. He’ll have that putt for a par on the third.
Pereira in trouble on the third
Mito Pereira is in the rough stuff off the tee on the third hole. He’s got 189-yards to green and whips it over to the left pulling up just short of the dancefloor. Up-and-down to come to save par.
Fitzpatrick is on the dancefloor but leaves himself another long putt for birdie.
Mistake from Mito
Mito Pereira’s tee shot on the third finds the trees over to the right and it’s the first false shot from the Chilean today.
After a par on the last hole, Matt Fitzpatrick (-5) is in pole position on the third with a booming drive down the right side of the fairway.
Rory McIlroy (-3) makes a par on the 10th as does Cameron Young (-5) who follows up and bogey on one and a birdie on two with a par on the third.
Simpson making a move
Webb Simpson (-3) is putting himself into the mix. He’s birdied the fourth and the fifth to move to three-under and is going well out there.
Mito Pereira misses his birdie chance on the second but he’s safely in for another par. Two holes down, 16 to go for the leader.
Pereira approaches the second
Mito Pereira (-9) lands his tee shot in the middle of the fairway and takes a nine iron to the front edge of the green. He leaves it just off the cut but within puttable distance.
Matt Fitzpatrick does something similar but gets a decent bounce up the slope and will have an outside chance of regaining the shot he lost on the first.
Shot back for Young
Cameron Young follows up his bogey on one with a fine birdie on the second. It’s a tricky left-to-right swinger but he reads the line well and nestles it into the middle of the cup to move back to five-under.
After back-to-back birdies on four and five, Tommy Fleetwood (-1) can’t save par on the seventh and records his first bogey of the day.
Par for Pereira
Leaving the flag in for his 30-foot birdie put on the first green, Mito Pereira leaves it short but steps up to tap it in for an opening hole par.
Matt Ftzpatrick (-5) drops a shot. He started poorly yesterday and came back to record a round of 67.
McIlroy thru nine
No joy for McIlroy who misses his birdie putt to the left of the hole. That would have given him some momentum heading into the back nine but he’s gone out in 32 which is three under par.
You feel he’ll have to replicate that score on the back nine if he’s going to have any chance today.
Good start continues for McIlroy
Rory makes a par on the eighth then monsters a 325-yard drive down the ninth fairway before chipping his second to around 15-feet. Birdie chance coming up.
Fitzpatrick attempts to draw his second shot on the first around the trees and he spanks it over the green, ending up behind the tv tower.