What a change in the temperatures and weather conditions for the third round this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the 104th USPGA Championship.
Waterproofs and many layers of clothing were the order of the day as we woke up to temperatures perhaps 30 degrees lower than for the first two rounds, in the low to mid-50’s and a Northerly breeze was a 180 degree turnaround.
Our man Matt Fitzpatrick was the star of the day with a three under par 67, four under for his last 10 holes.
Matt is now at 6 under for 54 holes, tied second alongside Will Zalatoris (US) and will be in the final pairing on Sunday alongside Mito Pereira (Chile), who has a three shot lead.
Others in the final few groups include Cameron Young (US), Ireland’s Seamus Power and Abraham Ancer (Mexico) with the likes of Major champions Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson perhaps too far back on two under par.
Pereira is an unknown to most of the golfing world having gained his PGA Tour status by winning three times on the Korn Ferry Tour in the 2020-2021 season and currently lies Number 100 in the OWGR and 46th in the FedEx Cup Rankings.
He progressed rapidly through the PGA Tour Latinoamérica and a glance at his 2022 PGA Tour Stats shows he is fourth overall in Greens in Regulation, which has never hurt anyone.
Pereira will not have been seen or heard about in the Majors, as he has only ever played in one Major, the 2019 US Open, where he missed the cut.
His best PGA Tour result to date is tied 3rd in the 2021 Fortinet Championship.
Matt has veteran caddy Billy Foster on the bag and they make a great team.
Billy has caddied for many of the world’s best, including: Seve Ballesteros, Darren Clark, Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Lee Westwood and even Tiger Woods, but statistic of the week is that he has never caddied for a Major win!
Who is my tip to win?
Of the leading six players, at the top of the pile, Ancer is the only one to have won on the PGA Tour, winning the 2021 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational as well as the 2018 Emirates Australian Open.
I would like to think that Matt’s CV is stronger than all the others in contention with his double victory in the DP World Tour Championship in 2016 and 2020 and five other DP World Tour wins and his OWGR of 17. And of course, winning the 2013 US Amateur Championship on US soil at The Country Club, Brookline.
But then again, I am perhaps somewhat biased and what happens on the day is all that matters!
It will be life changing for whoever wins the Wanamaker Trophy tomorrow evening.
I will fly back to Rotherham just after lunchtime tomorrow (Sunday) and will not see the climax to the tournament.
Fingers crossed for Matt!
Finally, I have just seen that Tiger Woods has withdrawn from tomorrow’s final round. We all wish Tiger all the best with his continued rehab and we all miss him and golf still very much needs him!
Tee times for the final round for my guys are as follows (Local Oklahoma time):
7.27 am: Thomas Pieters (+9, Bel) and Adam Hadwin (+9, Canada).
9.55 am: Brooks Koepka (+4, US) and Harold Varner III (+4, US).
1.35 pm: Matt Fitzpatrick (-6, Eng) and Mito Pereira (-9, Chile).
- Peter Cowen, 71, A Dubai Golden VISA Awardee, is recognised as one of the leading golf coaches in the world of golf. A former DP World Tour Professional he has his Peter Cowen Academies in Dubai, at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, Emirates Golf Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates. Peter lives in England and headquarters his Peter Cowen Academies in Rotherham.