US PGA Championship: Leader Pereira will try to 'not even look' at final-day crowds

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On an abnormal weekend, Mito Pereira is trying to keep things as normal as possible, leading the US PGA Championship coming into the final round.

The world number 61 holds a three-stroke lead coming into the fourth round at Summer Hills, after posting a one-under 69 on Saturday.

Having only earned his PGA Tour card last year and still without a tournament victory to his name at that level, the 27-year-old Chilean is in uncharted territory at the second major of the year.

Pereira is not hiding that fact, but is trying to maintain a relative sense of calm to see the tournament out.

"It's by far the biggest tournament that I've played, the biggest round of golf and tomorrow is going to be even bigger," Pereira said after the third round. "I'll just try to keep it simple, try to do the same things that I've been doing and try to not even look at the people around."

The last time a player won a major for their maiden tour victory was Danny Willett at the 2016 Masters, following Jordan Spieth's final-day collapse.

Saturday was a rough day for the field in Tulsa, with blustery and overcast conditions wreaking havoc on shot selection.

Pereira posted four bogeys on five holes between eight and 12, but recovered with consecutive birdies on the 13th and 14th, before closing the day out on 69 with a tough birdie putt on 18.

The birdie on the par-five 13th was critical according to Pereira, reaffirming the confidence his ball-striking was giving him.

"It was a really tough day - it was windy, cold, last pairing. So I thought I hit it pretty well, hit some bad shots but it's normal," he said.

"It's more just mental, you know. Obviously that birdie really helped on 13, to get things going.

"I wasn't playing really bad and with those bogeys – one three-putt, one bad break – it wasn't like I was losing my confidence. I was still hitting the ball really well, so I think I'll just hold to that."

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