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Mito Pereira Gives Classy Interview After His Collapse on 18 at PGA Championship

Mito Pereira saw his hopes at a historic PGA Championship victory evaporate on the final hole of the tournament Sunday, when he carded a double-bogey to come up just one shot shy of the ensuing playoff. Despite his gut-wrenching finish, the 27-year-old Chilean remained gracious afterwards, meeting with media members to unpack his performance over the weekend.

In an interview on the broadcast with Amanda Balionis of CBS Sports, Pereira didn’t dwell on the 72nd hole, but instead focused on the positives that he could take away from his first PGA tournament appearance.

“It’s tough to finish like that,” Pereira said. “Really good week and I didn’t play really well [Sunday]. Just needed a couple more birdies and hit it a little bit better to win, but just happy with how the week turned out. 

“On Monday I just wanted to make the cut and on Sunday, I wanted to win. [I’ll] really hold to that and take this to learn from in the future.”

Pereira held a three-shot lead after the third round on Saturday and managed to survive an up-and-down round to have a one-stroke advantage on the 18th tee box Sunday. However, under the pressure of situation, the 27-year-old rookie made an errant swing and his ball found the stream on the right side of the hole.

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“I was O.K. It was a weird [shot], but I wasn’t thinking about the water,” Pereira explained to Balionis. “It’s weird that it went in. But I guess you have so much pressure in your body that you don’t even know what you’re doing.”

Following the penalty, Pereira tried to save face on his approach, but he failed to get the ball on the green. His fourth shot, a chip from the back-left corner of the green went long and his ensuing bogey putt to the back-right pin location 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 American Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris, who moved on to a three-hole playoff. 

Thomas outlasted Zalatoris to claim his second major championship victory and his second Wanamaker Trophy. Pereira, who carded a 5-over, 75 on Sunday, finished in a tie for third with Cameron Young.

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