May 22nd, 2022
Pereira out front at PGA Championship
Fitzpatrick in the mix as McIlroy fades and Tiger withdraws
Words: GolfPunk Photography: PGA of America
Pereira, playing in just his second major, closed with a birdie at the final hole to be round in a one-under 69. On a cold day in Oklahoma, any round under par was most welcome as most of the field struggled.
"I'm just going to try keep my head in the moment, try to enjoy it too as I'm in the final pairing of a major. If you would have told me this two or three years ago, it'd be unreal," said Pereira after finding himself clear of the field.
Fitzpatrick was among those that took advantage on moving day with a three-under-par 67, which included six birdies. The man from Sheffield sits alongside Zalatoris, who struggled on Saturday, carding a three-over-par 73.
"I am looking forward to whatever happens. I have played well for three rounds at least," said Fitzpatrick after his round.
Cameron Young of America is shot further back in fourth on five-under-par after a 67.
Abraham Ancer sits on four-under with Seamus Power alone in sixth in three-under after an excellent 67.
The round of the day came from Webb Simpson. Having just sneaked through on the cut line on four-over, Simpson ended the day in a tie for tenth after a brilliant five-under 65. The American was even par for his round at the turn but raced home in 30 with three birdies and an eagle.
Rory McIlroy, who had promised so much after his great opening round, tumbled down the leaderboard further after a lacklustre four-over 74 that included a double bogey and a triple bogey on two of the short holes. As a result, the man from Northern Ireland sits nine shots behind the leader on level par.
Meanwhile, Tiger Woods, who had partnered with McIlroy in the first two rounds, finally called it a day and withdrew from a major championship for the first time in his career. Hats off to the fifteen-time major champion but one must question whether he did more harm than good playing when in obvious pain.