US PGA Championship: Pereira steadies in chaotic conditions to lead into final round

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Mito Pereira became the first Chilean to lead a major as the elements shook the field at the US PGA Championship on Saturday, holding a three-stroke lead coming into the final day.

Strong winds and grey skies meant moving day took on a more distinct meaning at Southern Hills, with four of the players in the top 10 finishing their rounds on Saturday with scores over par.

Pereira was close to making that five but recovered from four bogeys in five holes between eight and 12, scoring back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th before sinking a long birdie putt on the 18th to finish the day on a one-under 69.

The 27-year-old leads an unheralded group at the top of the leaderboard at nine-under par after 54 holes, with the top four players yet to win a tournament on the PGA Tour.

With several big names missing the cut including world number one Scottie Scheffler and Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas remains the only top-ten player in the top ten at Southern Hills, shooting a four-over 74 on Saturday to sit seven strokes off Pereira.

The last time a player won a major for their maiden PGA Tour victory was Danny Willett's dramatic 2016 triumph at the Masters, capitalising on Jordan Spieth's back-nine collapse on the final day.

Willett's countryman, Matt Fitzpatrick, is tied for second with Will Zalatoris at six-under par after recovering from back-to-back bogeys on the opening two holes to shoot a three-under 67.

Cameron Young sits a further stroke back after scoring a 67 of his own on Saturday, on the back of an eagle on the par-four 17th.

First-round leader Rory McIlroy's hopes of winning his first major in eight years faded, tumbling down the leaderboard with a four-over 74.

Starting the day five strokes back, McIlroy followed up a double-bogey on the sixth with back-to-back bogeys on the next two holes, before a triple-bogey on the par-three 11th to finish on par after 54 holes.

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