On course for historic bump: Mito Pereira overcomes to reach final round of PGA Championship as leader

On course for historic bump: Mito Pereira overcomes to reach final round of PGA Championship as leader

The national golfer finished a complex day three as the exclusive scorer of the second major of the year, with an accumulated card of -9 and three strokes ahead of his closest supporters, so he depends on himself to win the title. Joaquín Niemann, meanwhile, put in an opaque performance and is 23rd.

Guillermo Pereira went through a tough third round to reach the end of the PGA Championship as leader. The Chilean has made history again by completing an unprecedented round for national golf in a major tournament and this Sunday he will face the final day of the competition starting from the top, after finishing Saturday with a -9 card which left him three strokes ahead of his closest followers, Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick and American Will Zalatoris.

The start was positive for the native of Pirque, who started the course on hole 1, in the stellar group, due to his remarkable performance on Friday, in which he made history by becoming the first national to start a round in the top 3 of this type of tournament. Despite leaving his first hole of the day uneven, by his side Zalatoris started in the worst possible way, with an entry bogey that allowed Pereira to momentarily reach the lead, starting a header -to-head very early.

In this scenario, Mito had a unique opportunity at Southern Hills Country Club in Oklahoma. Whoever in this type of tournament must be used until death. The confidence was there, it was not for nothing that he came on the lookout for the pointer on Saturday, never sucking it up. And it did not disappoint. On the second hole, he birdied which, by the way, put him on top, alone, while the American tried between his nerves to land a blow to the course, but without success.

Pereira was offered a new chance, linked to the first one. His main rival in the fight for the top added his second stumble of the day to the fourth flag, so avoiding bogeys was going to be key. But the Chilean went further, he knew that a birdie on the next hole (the fifth) would bring him great peace of mind. And he found it, while Zalatoris showed many difficulties in his work with the putt. Inaccuracies that gave more life to Mito.

The course seemed increasingly soft to the Chilean, produced inaccuracies by the American, who, on the sixth hole, was once again forced to use a stroke over par, being momentarily tied for second. with fellow countryman Bubba. Watson, at -6, then losing another place. Pereira, meanwhile, was rubbing his hands in the upper half, where, at that point, he was four shots ahead of his pursuers, at -10.

The battle seemed to be comfortable for the National, but the situation changed dramatically on the eighth hole. This is where the suffering began for Pereira. His card was hit by three bogeys in a row, as the wind increased in intensity. Of the four shots in front of his escorts, he was down to two after the tenth flag, with a score of -7, while the cards of Watson, who also bogeyed on the 10th hole, and Zalatoris were at -5.

Pereira hasn’t had a good time since then. Another bogey on the 12th hole meant a hard slap against him. His mind was troubled and getting well was urgent, especially since at flag 13, Zalatoris put pressure on him with a shot under par. But Mito overcame and held the only lead, returning to birdie at the right time and repeating on the next hole.

The myth had an anthology closure. With a notable birdie which allowed him to increase his lead and watch his escorts from further away. Now everything is in your hands. Whatever happens, the Chilean has shown he’s ready for big things.

Bitter round for Niemann

Niemann, this Saturday, at the PGA Championship. PHOTO: USA TODAY Sports.

Niemann, for his part, was emerging from a day of bitterness and smiles. Of those that are typical of this type of tournament. Because, even if you can be at your highest level, not being able to maintain it is expensive. Joaco had a promising start, but his game was then affected by a strong wind which prevented him from repeating his excellent start in the final run. It was too inaccurate, which caused him to end the day with a total score of -1.

It is for the above that the talagantino had the mission to improve their numbers to approach the outposts. The task was not minor, because for this he was going to have to put in a little more effort, increase his concentration to the limit and show his maximum precision in the blows. I already knew the court was complex, so completing an error-free lap was going to be essential.

Joaco, who made the trip accompanied by American Talor Gooch, found it difficult to fit in at first. Despite maintaining the first two flags, The panorama was complicated for him in the third, where he scored his first bogey of the day, so he would have to row from behind in the following ones. Cutting a shot down the field was vital not to give up more ground.

It seems that Niemann reacted in time. With a birdie on hole six that drew applause from those present. A remarkable move that gave him a boost and sparked a new illusion. However, he hit the pair again in the 8th, again seeing his hopes of reaching the top.

Before the halfway mark, the Genesis Invitational champion last February landed another shot under par to face the final run with a little more confidence, despite the irregularity he was showing. However, the last nine holes were bittersweet for him, as he regretted two bogeys, on holes 14 and 16, which again left him with a negative balance of +2.

At the end, a birdie at flag 17 gave him one last chance to end the day. However, he finished with another shot over par, finishing the day +2 and in 24th place. His total card is +1, so he is 10 strokes behind Mito, who is aiming for his first PGA Tour title this Sunday. Nothing more and nothing less than in a major.

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Source: Latercera

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