The top of the 2022 PGA Championship leaderboard after 36 holes is a mix of stars and unknowns. Mito Pereira falls into that second set. Until Thursday and Friday, Pereira was only familiar to hard-core golf fans.
He enters the weekend at 8 under par, one stroke behind the leader Will Zalatoris. With his 6-under 64 in Round 2, he tied a career-low.
In this ranking, he is immediately ahead of many more, including Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, and Bubba Watson.
Mito Pereira Round 3 Prediction:
Mito Pereira and Zalatoris are similar in many ways. Their statistical profiles are similar, and neither has won on the PGA Tour despite some close calls, to name a couple.
In his PGA Championship debut last summer, the Chilean was a Battlefield Promotion from the Korn Ferry Tour.
With a 6-under 64 in his second major championship start, Pereira will have the last tee time on Saturday alongside Zalatoris. Surprise sports experts predict that Mito and Zalatoris will have a head-to-head matchup in the field.
Impressing in his @PGAChampionship debut 🔥
Mito Pereira is tied for the lead at 8-under in Tulsa. pic.twitter.com/C4qaTxFTAq
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 20, 2022
So, who is Mito Pereira? And what makes him a threat to win the 2nd major of the 2022 PGA Tour season?
Who is Mito Pereira?
27-year-old Chilean player Pereira (born in Santiago) has played competitively since childhood.
Before turning professional, he played one collegiate golf season at Texas Tech (2014-15). He began his professional career on the Chilean Tour in 2015.
Next came the PGA Tour Latinoamerica, the Korn Ferry Tour, and the PGA Tour. This is his first entire season on the PGA Tour.
Pereira has won three times on the Korn Ferry Tour and once on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. The last two of his wins came back to back in June 2021 on the Korn Ferry Tour.
He used these wins as a springboard to representing Chile at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He placed fourth in the men’s competition.
In his first full-time PGA Tour season, he finished third at the Fortinet Championship in California.
He made $1.37 million and was ranked No. 46 in the FedEx Cup entering the PGA.
The 2022 PGA Championship is not his first major championship. In 2019, he played in the U.S. Open and missed the cut.