US PGA Championship: Matt Fitzpatrick in contention as Mito Pereira leads at Southern Hills

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Matt Fitzpatrick
Matt Fitzpatrick is aiming to win a primary main title and turn out to be the primary Englishman to win this occasion since Jim Barnes in 1919
-9 M Pereira (Chi); -6 M Fitzpatrick (Eng), W Zalatoris (US); -5 C Young (US); -4 A Ancer (Mex); -3 S Power (Ire)
Selected others: -2 B Watson (US), J Thomas (US); Level T Fleetwood (Eng), R McIlroy (NI); +2 J Rose (Eng); +12 T Woods (US)

Mito Pereira emerged with a three-shot lead at the US PGA Championship as England’s Matt Fitzpatrick performed his method into contention in spherical three.

Chile’s Pereira is enjoying in simply his second main and completed with a birdie to achieve 9 below par in Oklahoma.

Fitzpatrick, chasing a primary main title, will play in Sunday’s ultimate group after an excellent three-under 67 moved him joint second on six below.

He is degree with Will Zalatoris, who led after spherical two however hit a 73.

Scoring circumstances have been robust on a cold Saturday, with the vast majority of the sector discovering themselves heading in the improper course on golf’s conventional shifting day.

It was largely those that might hold on to what they’d who fared higher, bar a handful of well-constructed rounds from the likes of Fitzpatrick, Seamus Power of Ireland and American Cameron Young, who additionally shot 67s.

Young’s spherical included an eagle at the par-four seventeenth to maneuver him to 5 below par, one forward of Mexican Abraham Ancer, who shot a level-par 70, whereas Power is at three below.

It units up an intriguing ultimate day with not one of the high high six having gained a serious.

American Webb Simpson additionally defied the development to submit the low spherical of the day, a five-under 65, that hoisted him to at least one below.

Rory McIlroy is degree par after toiling to a four-over 74 that included a double bogey and a triple bogey on two of the par three holes. It leaves him eight strokes adrift, whereas Tiger Woods additionally struggled, ending the day at 12 over par after a nine-over 79 and the 15-time major champion withdrew.

Fitzpatrick quietly efficient

Sheffield’s Fitzpatrick can solely boast one top-10 main end in his profession up to now, with that approaching his debut at the Masters six years in the past, however the 27-year-old will head out on Sunday in the ultimate pairing after taming Southern Hills on Saturday.

The world quantity 17 started with successive bogeys however he pulled one shot again virtually instantly, holing out from the sand at the fifth, and, after one other bogey at seven, started to edge his method up the leaderboard with birdies at 9 and the par-five thirteenth.

It was a day the place fortunes turned rapidly and Fitzpatrick’s spherical went from being stable to spectacular as he closed with back-to-back birdies, the final celebrated with the fist pump of a person who is aware of he has an actual likelihood to win a primary main trophy.

“I’m trying ahead to [Sunday] no matter occurs, I’ve performed properly for 3 rounds at least,” mentioned Fitzpatrick.

“I’ve had the expertise of being in the lead earlier than in Europe and a serious is totally completely different. This is my first time ever being in correct contention so I’m trying ahead to making an attempt to remain as degree as potential.”

Pereira finishes strongly after wobble

Mito Pereira
Mito Pereira is enjoying in simply his second main, having missed the reduce at the 2019 US Open

Zalatoris has 4 top-10 finishes in his first seven main begins and seemed properly positioned to edge nearer to a primary win after setting the tempo at the midway stage, one away from the sector.

But the Texan, identical to enjoying associate Pereira, is but to win on the PGA Tour and the strain appeared to inform on a calamitous entrance 9.

The 25-year-old struggled to become familiar along with his placing stroke with 4 bogeys coming in his opening seven holes.

Pereira, who revealed he solely had 9 and a half hours’ sleep on Friday evening, somewhat than his common of 11, began the day in second however crashed in a birdie on the second to leapfrog Zalatoris and lead on 9 below.

With Zalatoris’ contact with the putter persevering with to abandon him, one other birdie at the fifth meant Pereira – on solely his second main begin – had a four-shot lead by the point he approached the seventh tee.

But the 27-year-old from Santiago bumped into his personal issues across the flip, carding 4 bogeys and dropping extra pictures in a five-hole spell than he had all match.

The world quantity 100 confirmed resolve to wrestle again management with successive birdies on the thirteenth and 14th, whereas Zalatoris additionally rediscovered some composure to card a three-over 73, however Pereira put himself in pole place for a primary main title by rolling in from 27 ft for his fifth birdie of the day on the ultimate gap to card a 69.

It is the primary time he has led after a spherical in any PGA Tour occasion and he turns into the primary participant to carry the outright 54-hole lead on their debut in this match since John Daly, who went on to win in 1991.

“If you play actually good golf in the course of the week, you are going to win – does not matter if it is your first time or your tenth time,” mentioned Pereira.

“I’m simply going to strive preserve my head in the second, attempt to take pleasure in it too as I’m in the ultimate pairing of a serious. If you’d have informed me this two or three years in the past it might be unreal.”

McIlroy pissed off on day three

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy posted a four-over-par 74 on Saturday

McIlroy’s latest main performances have been characterised by sluggish begins and robust finishes, however at Southern Hills he seemed to be doing the reverse by capturing a five-under 65 to guide after spherical one.

However, after a 71 in Friday’s wind, the Northern Irishman started the day 5 off Zalatoris’ tempo.

He opened with a run of 5 pars however a double bogey on the par-three sixth, after discovering the water along with his tee shot, sparked a expensive run.

The four-time main champion, who’s trying to finish his eight-year main drought, bogeyed the subsequent after virtually discovering the water once more and made it 4 strokes misplaced in three holes with one other dropped shot on eight that pegged him again to degree par.

McIlroy birdied the ninth however that proved a false daybreak as the 33-year-old proceeded to drop three pictures at the par-three eleventh, leaking his tee shot left after which three-putting as soon as he lastly made it on to the inexperienced.

And then got here a run which may simply have stored his championship hopes alive.

McIlroy birdied the par-five thirteenth after reaching the inexperienced in two earlier than sticking an excellent tee shot to a few ft to additionally birdie the par-three 14th. He made it three birdies in 4 holes on the sixteenth.

However, a dropped shot on the final compounded a irritating afternoon.

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