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PGA Championship: Mito Pereira takes three-shot lead into final round over Matt Fitzpatrick and Will Zalatoris


M

ito Pereira will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the PGA Championship as he goes in search of an unlikely win at Southern Hills.

The Chilean is yet to win on the PGA Tour and this is just his second ever major appearance, but having started Saturday a shot off the lead and in the final group, a third-round 69 saw him move to the front on a day when many struggled.

He’ll be joined for the final tee-time on Sunday by Matt Fitzpatrick after the Englishman played his last ten holes in four-under-par. On six-under, he sits three shots behind Pereira after posting a superb 67. While Fitzpatrick is also yet to win in America, he has seven wins on the DP World Tour to fall back on.

“I am looking forward to tomorrow whatever happens I have played well for three rounds at least,” Fitzpatrick told Sky Sports.

“I have had the experience of being in the lead before in Europe. Obviously a major is completely different and I’ll be honest this is my first time ever of being in proper contention in a major so I am just looking forward to tomorrow and I just feel like I go out and do what I have been doing all week.”

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Will Zalatoris started the day with a one-shot lead but made four bogies in his first seven holes, his putting proving problematic one again despite enjoying a stellar first two days with the flat-stick. He too will start the final round three shots back of Pereira.

Like Fitzpatrick, Irishman Seamus Power moved through the field with a 67 on Saturday and he sits in sixth on three-under, a shot ahead of Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson who faltered in the penultimate group out.

A round of 74 from Rory McIlroy saw him fall down to a tie for 17th, having started so well on the opening day, while Tiger Woods at one point looked to be on course for his worst ever round in a major.

He steadied the ship by playing the final five holes in one-under-par but a third-round 79 leaves him joint-last among those who made the cut, with his leg injury appearing particularly problematic.

“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.”

Asked if he would play Sunday’s final round, Woods added: “Well, I’m sore. I know that is for a fact. We’ll do some work and see how it goes.”

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