PGA Championship 2022: Mito Pereira Holds 3-stroke Lead Entering Final Round

Doric SamMay 22, 2022

TULSA, OKLAHOMA - MAY 21: Mito Pereira of Chile reacts to his putt on the 18th green during the third round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club on May 21, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Tough weather conditions made for an interesting third round at the PGA Championship on Saturday, as players had to overcome unexpected challenges to make their way up the leaderboard.

Mito Pereira (-9) is now in the lead after shooting a one-under 69 to overtake the top spot. Pereira had entered the round in second place.


Birdie on the last for Mito Pereira 💪<br><br>Solo leader with a 3-shot lead heading into Sunday.<a href="https://t.co/9Z4ytWWKKs">pic.twitter.com/9Z4ytWWKKs</a>

Pereira will have a three-stroke lead heading into the final round Sunday.

Will Zalatoris, who was the leader after the second round, opened with four bogeys in his first seven holes. He finished with a three-over 73 to fall into a tie for second with Matt Fitzpatrick, who shot a three-under 67 to make a leap.

Here's a look at the top-10 leaderboard as well as other notable scores heading into the final round, plus a deeper dive into Saturday's action including Tiger Woods' massive struggles that led to his withdrawal from the event.

PGA Championship Top 10 Leaderboard

1. Mito Pereira (-9)

T2. Will Zalatoris (-6)

T2. Matt Fitzpatrick (-6)

4. Cameron Young (-5)

5. Abraham Ancer (-4)

6. Seamus Power (-3)

T7. Bubba Watson (-2)

T7. Justin Thomas (-2)

T7. Stewart Cink (-2)

T10. Webb Simpson (-1)

T10. Chris Kirk (-1)

T10. Max Homa (-1)

T10. Sam Burns (-1)

T10. Davis Riley (-1)

T10. Gary Woodland (-1)

T10. Lucas Herbert (-1)

Other Notables: Rory McIlroy (E), Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler (+2), Brooks Koepka (+4), Jordan Spieth and Jason Day (+5), Hideki Matsuyama (+6), Collin Morikawa and Jon Rahm (+8), Tiger Woods (+12)

Full leaderboard available at PGATour.com

Notes and Highlights

After opening the back nine with bogeys in two of his first three holes, Pereira finished strong. He shot under three on the remaining six holes, birdieing Nos. 13, 14 and 18, to save the day.

PGA TOUR Communications @PGATOURComms

Mito Pereira becomes the first player to hold the outright 54-hole lead in their PGA Championship debut since John Daly in 1991.

It's the first time in Pereira's career that he holds the lead after any round in any PGA Tour event.

Fitzpatrick recorded back-to-back bogeys to start the round, but he quickly recovered. The 27-year-old played a clean back nine and closed with two straight birdies to vault into contention.


Back-to-back birdies to end his round 🐦<br><br>Currently T2 at -6 <a href="https://twitter.com/MattFitz94?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MattFitz94</a><a href="https://t.co/CWItwVP4O4">pic.twitter.com/CWItwVP4O4</a>

Cameron Young made a jump into the top five thanks to a late surge. He recorded an eagle on the 17th hole to put himself in great position heading into Sunday.


Eagle to move to T3 🦅<br><br>Cameron Young drove the green on No. 17 to set up this 24 footer.<a href="https://t.co/9G7BsHDCBn">pic.twitter.com/9G7BsHDCBn</a>

Webb Simpson had the best round of the day with a five-under 65 to crack the top 10. He played a clean back nine that included three birdies and an eagle.

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

Fist bumps and smiles all around for Webb Simpson after this EPIC eagle to get to 3-under on Saturday. 🤛😀 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PGAChamp?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PGAChamp</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/PGAChampionship?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PGAChampionship</a><br><br> <a href="https://t.co/E3sqdwNXtv">pic.twitter.com/E3sqdwNXtv</a>

Woods had the roughest time dealing with the weather conditions Saturday. Playing in just his second event since last year's devastating car crash, the 46-year-old looked visibly uncomfortable on the green. He even had a triple bogey on the sixth hole.

Woods recorded five consecutive bogeys for just the second time in his career, the other time coming in the first round of the 1996 U.S. Open. He managed to finish under one on his final five holes to break 80. Still, a nine-over 79 was the worst round of his storied career at the PGA Championship. It's also the third-worst round of his major career and the fifth-worst round of his professional career overall.


Tiger Woods posts his highest career round at the PGA Championship with a 79.<br><br>He went -1 on his final 4 holes to break 80. <a href="https://t.co/YhQsXuIWXd">pic.twitter.com/YhQsXuIWXd</a>

After the round, Woods admitted that his surgically repaired leg has been in pain. He said he will have to assess whether he plays the final 18 holes.

"Well, I'm sore. I know that is for a fact," Woods said. "We'll do some work and see how it goes."

Woods later withdrew from the competition:

Bob Harig @BobHarig

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tiger?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tiger</a> has withdrawn via PGA of America

The final round of the PGA Championship will commence Sunday at 8 a.m. ET. Coverage will start on ESPN+ and then get picked up by ESPN at 10 a.m. ET before finishing on CBS at 1 p.m. ET.