TULSA, Okla. – Rookie season. PGA Championship. Seventy-second hole. One-shot lead. It was all there for Mito Pereira, until it wasn’t.
Feeling confident as he marched toward his first victory on the PGA Tour, Pereira took the headcover off his driver and prepared for the biggest swing of his life.
That swing cost him the PGA Championship, as he blocked his tee shot up the right side the 490-yard, par-4 18th and into a creek. It would take him three more shots to get his ball on the green before he knocked it in for a double bogey that left him one shot out of a playoff that would include Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris.
“I wasn't even thinking about the water,” Pereira said shortly after his final round. “I just wanted to put it in play, and I guess I aimed too far right. I just hit in the water … Yeah, low and straight. I'm really confident with that one. I don't know what happened.”
Pereira shot 5-over 75 in the final round to finish T-3 alongside fellow rookie Cameron Young, at 4 under par for the championship. The top four finishers at the PGA Championship receive an invite to the following year’s Masters, so Pereira can look forward to his first appearance at Augusta National next April.