After three rounds at Southern Hills, the 25-year-old Will Zalatoris trails PGA Championship leader Mito Pereira (-9).
Currently, he is tied with Matt Fitzpatrick at 6-under par, while Cameron Young (-5) and Abraham Ancer (-4) are close behind.
In a vacuum, it is a good position to be in. He’s been there with four previous top-10 finishes in Major championships before.
He would have been tied for first place going into Sunday if he hadn’t picked up a club in round three.
Zalatoris, the 36-hole leader at 9-under, shot a 3-over 73 on Saturday and fell from first place.
His early strides – namely ranking first in strokes gained putting – fizzled out as he shot 4-over par on the front nine alone amid cold, rainy, and windy conditions in Oklahoma.
The golfer missed a 10-foot putt on hole one, resulting in a bogey to open the round. There was a 7-foot birdie putt on three, a five-foot par putt on four, a six-foot par putt on six, and another six-foot birdie putt on nine.
He ranked 58th in strokes gained putting in Round 2 and looked more like the putter he’s been most of the season (ranked 185th in strokes gained putting) than the one who sank four 20-foot-plus putts in round one.
Will Zalatoris Round 4 Prediction:
The playbook has undergone a minor revision, which has allowed Zalatoris to lead the 104th PGA Championship at the halfway point. As expected, he’s hitting it well.
He also is making putts. We’ll see if that changes the equation on Sunday and if it adds up to a win.
Zalatoris, a rail-thin 25-year-old Texan, forged a one-stroke lead over Chile’s Mito Pereira at nine-under 131 after a five-under 65 Friday at Southern Hills Country Club.
It’s no surprise that he’s in the mix, considering how much he enjoys the challenge of major championship golf. It’s surprising how quickly he has risen to the top thus far.
The PGA Tour leader in strokes gained/approach has been nearly as good through two rounds here, ranking seventh overall and third in proximity to the hole.
Here’s the head-scratcher: He leads the strokes gained/putting category at 6.157. Currently, he ranks 185th on the PGA Tour in the same discipline, losing nearly a half-stroke per round.
The only golfer to post a score under par in each of the first three rounds is Pereira.
His birdie moved him to 1-under after shooting a 68 in the first round and a 64 in the second.
Fitzpatrick is the No. 2 favorite at +350, and Zalatoris is at +400.
2022 PGA Championship Sunday odds, field:
Mito Pereira 3-2
Matthew Fitzpatrick 7-2
Will Zalatoris 4-1
Cameron Young 9-1
Abraham Ancer 18-1
Justin Thomas 28-1
Seamus Power 40-1
Bubba Watson 80-1
Rory McIlroy 100-1
Sam Burns 125-1
Gary Woodland 150-1
Stewart Cink 150-1
Max Homa 150-1
Xander Schauffele 200-1
Davis Riley 200-1
Chris Kirk 250-1
Webb Simpson 250-1
Lucas Herbert 300-1
Cameron Smith 400-1
Tommy Fleetwood 400-1
Tom Hoge 500-1
Adri Arnaus 750-1
Ryan Fox 750-1
Joaquin Niemann 750-1
Patrick Reed 1000-1
Kevin Na 1000-1
Tyrrell Hatton 1000-1
Brendan Steele 1000-1
Matt Kuchar 1000-1