TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Latest on the final round of the PGA Championship (all times local):
Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris have matched birdies on the first of their three-hole aggregate playoff for the PGA Championship.
Thomas did it on the reachable par-5 13th hole by laying up after a drive into the right rough. He hit his short approach to 6 feet and rolled in the putt.
Zalatoris ripped his drive down the middle of the fairway and went for the green in two, setting up a 25-footer for his first eagle of the week. He missed the putt but tapped in for birdie.
The reachable par-4 17th was the next playoff hole, followed by the difficult 18th.
The PGA Championship is headed to a playoff between Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris after Mito Pereira squandered a one-shot lead on the 18th when he drove into the creek off the tee and made double bogey.
Thomas and Zalatoris finished at 5-under 275. They will play a three-hole aggregate playoff for the Wanamaker Trophy.
Thomas began the day seven shots back of Pereira and shot a 3-under 67, tied for the best round of the day. He missed a putt inside 15 feet on his final hole that would have gotten him to 6 under, but Pereira’s meltdown on 18 gave him a chance.
Zalatoris rode a rollercoaster round full of mishits that included a penalty drop for an unplayable lie. He made birdie at the 17th to reach 5 under, then got up and down for par at the 18th to get into the playoff.
Pereira began the day with a three-shot lead at Southern Hills. He played his last five holes in 3 over.
Will Zalatoris had just made back-to-back birdies and pulled into a tie for the lead with Mito Pereira during the final round of the PGA Championship when he flew the green at the par-3 sixth and the ball came to rest inside a shrub.
Zalatoris took a penalty stroke for an unplayable lie, then had to get relief from the new spot because a television tower was in his way. He wound up dropping onto the paved cart path and pitched from there onto the green, the shot coming to rest about 8 feet from the hole. He made the putt for a crucial bogey.
While Zalatoris was dropping a shot, Pereira rolled in a short birdie putt at the fifth to take a two-shot lead.
The leaders are off the tee for the final round of the PGA Championship, with Mito Pereira of Chile attempting to become the third major winner from South America and Matt Fitzpatrick trying to track him down from three strokes back.
Pereira has never won on the PGA Tour, let alone won a major. The last full-time tour player who made a major his first victory was Shaun Micheel, who won the 2003 championship at Oak Hill.
The 27-year-old Pereira isn’t a total unknown, though. He lost a playoff for the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
There are plenty of birdies available at Southern Hills during the final round of the PGA Championship, if only someone within shouting distance of the lead is able to string a few of them together.
Rory McIlroy looked as if he might be the guy early on Sunday. He ripped off four in a row to go from even par for the tournament to within five of the lead, only to hit a poor chip shot at the par-3 sixth and drop a shot there.
The back nine in particular should be interesting. The par-5 13th is reachable in two for most of the field, but it presents a quintessential risk-reward situation. The same goes for the 17th, a par-4 reachable off the tee for just about everyone that should present an easy birdie opportunity before the long, challenging uphill 18th.
First-time major winners have been nothing new in golf during this next generation of stars. The PGA Championship is no exception.
Mito Pereira of Chile has a three-shot lead going into the final round at Southern Hills. He is trying to become the first PGA Tour rookie since Keegan Bradley in the 2011 PGA Championship to win a major.
Chasing him are Matt Fitzpatrick of England and Will Zalatoris. Neither has won a major. Fitzpatrick is a two-time Ryder Cup player from England. But he has only one top-10 finish in the 24 previous majors he has played as a pro. Zalatoris was runner-up in the Masters in 2021.
Cameron Young had never made a cut in a major until this week. He’s four shots behind.
Eight of the last 13 champions of the PGA had never won a major. That’s about the same ratio for the Masters and U.S. Open.
The closest major champions to the lead are Stewart Cink, Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson. All are seven shots behind.
The final group tees off at 2:35 p.m.
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