TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Latest on the final round of the PGA Championship (all times local):
There are plenty of birdies available at Southern Hills during the final round of the PGA Championship, if only someone within shouting distance of the lead is able to string a few of them together.
Rory McIlroy looked as if he might be the guy early on Sunday. He ripped off four in a row to go from even par for the tournament to within five of the lead, only to hit a poor chip shot at the par-3 sixth and drop a shot there.
The back nine in particular should be interesting. The par-5 13th is reachable in two for most of the field, but it presents a quintessential risk-reward situation. The same goes for the 17th, a par-4 reachable off the tee for just about everyone that should present an easy birdie opportunity before the long, challenging uphill 18th.
First-time major winners have been nothing new in golf during this next generation of stars. The PGA Championship is no exception.
Mito Pereira of Chile has a three-shot lead going into the final round at Southern Hills. He is trying to become the first PGA Tour rookie since Keegan Bradley in the 2011 PGA Championship to win a major.
Chasing him are Matt Fitzpatrick of England and Will Zalatoris. Neither has won a major. Fitzpatrick is a two-time Ryder Cup player from England. But he has only one top-10 finish in the 24 previous majors he has played as a pro. Zalatoris was runner-up in the Masters in 2021.
Cameron Young had never made a cut in a major until this week. He’s four shots behind.
Eight of the last 13 champions of the PGA had never won a major. That’s about the same ratio for the Masters and U.S. Open.
The closest major champions to the lead are Stewart Cink, Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson. All are seven shots behind.
The final group tees off at 2:35 p.m.
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