Disaster struck on the final hole of the 2022 PGA championship for 54-hole leader and feel-good story of the week Mito Pereira during the final round of the major tournament Sunday.
Pereira stepped onto the tee box of the 18th hole at Southern Hills with a one-shot lead over Americans Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris. However, under the pressure of situation, the 27-year-old Chilean made an errant swing and his ball found the stream on the right side of the hole.
Following the penalty, Pereira tried to save face on his approach, but he failed to cut the ball back to the right-side pin location. His fourth shot, a chip from the back-left corner of the green went long and his ensuing bogey putt came up well short.
Pereira finally stopped the bleeding by sinking his putt for double-bogey. When all was said and done, he left the 18th green at 4-under, one shot behind Thomas and Zalatoris, who moved on to a three-hole playoff.
Pereira came into the final round with a three-shot advantage after strong play throughout the weekend. After posting three scores in the 60s on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, he limped home with 5-over, 75 on Sunday.
The fact the Pereira was even in contention for the Wanamaker trophy was a remarkable accomplishment. He didn’t earn a spot on the PGA Tour until June of 2021 when he earned an instant promotion for winning three times on the developmental Korn Ferry Tour.
Prior to this weekend’s tournament, Pereira had played in just one other major championship, the 2019 U.S. Open. He failed to make the cut in that event.
More Golf Coverage: