Mito Pereira Talks 2022 PGA Championship Collapse: 'I Thought I Was Going to Win'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 22, 2022

TULSA, OK - MAY 22: Mito Pereira of Chile hits his shot from the seventh tee during the final round of the 2022 PGA Championship at the Southern Hills on May 22, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America)
Darren Carroll/PGA of America

Mito Pereira was a single ball rotation away from a birdie on No. 17 and a two-stroke lead with one hole to play in Sunday's final round at the 2022 PGA Championship.

Now he will be the talk of the tournament because of his collapse.

Pereira still needed just a par on the final hole at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to win the tournament, but he hit his drive into the water, added a poor chip across the green and finished with a double-bogey to fall out of the lead.

"On 18, I wasn't even thinking about the water," he said, per Eric Bailey of the Tulsa World. "I just wanted to put it into play."

"I was really nervous. I tried to handle it a little bit, but it's really tough. I thought I was going to win on 18, but it is what it is. "

It was a gut-wrenching moment in what could have been a career-defining victory for the 27-year-old.

Pereira is yet to win on the PGA Tour and could have added a major title to his resume. He still came a long way from his mindset heading into the tournament.

"On Monday, I wanted to make the cut. On Sunday, I wanted to win," he said, per Pat Doney of 105.3 The Fan.          


Mito Pereira joins <a href="https://twitter.com/Amanda_Balionis?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Amanda_Balionis</a> to discuss his final round of the PGA Championship and what he'll learn from the week. <a href="https://t.co/7npxt0H6ov">pic.twitter.com/7npxt0H6ov</a>

The putt on No. 17 and the collapse on the final hole stand out because he was the center of attention on a national stage, but Pereira could have clinched the win far before that last two-hole stretch. After all, he shot a two-under 68 in the first round, six-under 64 in the second round and one-under 69 in the third round.

His five-over 75 in Sunday's final round stands out compared to that consistency.

Pereira bogeyed Nos. 3, 7, 8, 12 and 14 as well as he struggled to hold off a list of challengers that included Justin Thomas, Will Zalatoris and Cameron Young. It seemed like he would do just that despite some impressive charges around him, particularly from Thomas, but he was unable to finish the job.

The double-bogey on the last hole meant Thomas and Zalatoris advanced to a three-hole playoff to determine the champion.

As for Pereira, he will likely have plenty of fans pulling for him in future tournaments even after coming up short Sunday.