There’s only one round remaining at the 2022 PGA Championship, and given young stud Mito Pereira’s three-shot lead — and the dearth of experienced players within striking distance — it seems likely that a first-time winner will be crowned in Tulsa on Sunday.
But who will be it be? There’s plenty of drama left to witness at golf’s second major championship of the year. Here are five things to know for Sunday’s final round at Southern Hills.
Can Mito Pereira hang on?
Who is Mito Pereira? It seems as though everyone in the golf world is getting to know the 27-year-old Chilean at the same time.
But Pereira has been a talented player for a while now. With a handful of wins on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica and as one of the very few players to exercise an immediate three-win promotion to the PGA Tour based on his Korn Ferry Tour prowess, it’s clear Pereira is the real deal. Though he has yet to win on the PGA Tour, he’s notched one top 10 and five top-25 finishes this season alone.
Matt Fitzpatrick’s big chance
If you’re big on the idea that “experience wins,” your best bet is probably to back Matt Fitzpatrick on Sunday, Pereira’s closest chaser.
Fitzpatrick is three shots back, but has posted three consistently excellent rounds under par (68-69-67), despite the tough conditions. He’s a former U.S. Amateur champ and has seven DP World Tour wins on his resume. Fitzpatrick definitely knows how to close on a big stage, but can he make up three shots to do it?
In addition to Fitzpatrick, Will Zalatoris, Abraham Ancer, Cameron Young and Seamus Power, there are four major champions in the top 10 heading into Sunday’s final round: Justin Thomas, Stewart Cink, Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson.
Generally, you’d be bullish about the chances players with that kind of experience have when it comes to making a move on a major-championship Sunday. But with so much ground to make up (seven shots for JT, Cink and Bubba, and eight for Webb), it may be an insurmountable tally to overcome.
But hey, this is golf! Stranger things have happened, and a crazy-low round could equate to a comfortable early clubhouse lead, putting the pressure back on Pereira to bring it home.
The money at stake
Regardless of which player takes home the title on Sunday, anyone who finishes near the top of the leaderboard is sure to be happy with his payday. The PGA Championship purse was elevated by an influx of an additional $3 million this year, bringing the total disbursement to $15 million — the largest amount in the tournament’s history.
That means a cool $2.7 million to the winner, and a seven-figure payday for both second and third. Not a bad haul for four days of good golf!
Saturday’s relatively little wind provided a bit of a reprieve from Friday’s gusts, but according to Weather.com, Sunday will dawn a bit on the chilly side, 50 degrees, rising to a high temperature of 67 degrees by mid-afternoon.
Luckily, the wind isn’t expected to blow harder than 13 mph, so depending on your threshold for cold, Sunday could be downright comfortable.
Ready for the PGA Championship’s grand finale? Check out the final-round tee times here.