Séamus Power moves into contention as Mito Pereira opens three-shot US PGA lead

Matt Fitzpatrick makes strong move at Southern Hills as McIlroy’s challenge fades

Six days after declaring Southern Hills was "not really my cup of tea", Matt Fitzpatrick heads into the final round of the US PGA Championship in contention for a maiden Major title.

Fitzpatrick made light of the cold, breezy conditions to card a superb 67 and end a rollercoaster day three shots behind pacesetter Mito Pereira, the PGA Tour rookie continuing to impress on just his second Major start.

Pereira went from one behind playing partner Will Zalatoris to four ahead in the space of six holes, then saw his lead cut to a single shot after four bogeys in five holes around the turn before back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14.

The 27-year-old from Chile also birdied the last to card a 69 and finish nine under par, with Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris – who recovered from playing his first seven holes in four over to return a 73 – on six under.

Ireland’s Séamus Power lies six shots off the lead following a 67, but Rory McIlroy fell nine shots adrift following a disappointing 74.

“I feel good, my game is in a good spot,” said Power, who was ranked outside the world’s top 400 just a year ago but is currently ranked 42nd.

“Obviously I’ll go out a little before any of the leaders. If I can get a couple birdies on the card, it can make the world of difference and then you need a couple breaks to go your way.”

"For me, it's a lot of the same, and then you need a couple breaks to go your way. Obviously you're hoping no one is going to run away from you today, and then tomorrow just kind of maybe make one of those 35- or 40-footers or maybe a little chip-in, and that can be the difference sometimes."

McIlroy began the day five shots off the lead but dropped four shots in three holes from the sixth before a birdie on the ninth seemingly steadied the ship.

A triple bogey on the 11th effectively ended the first-round leader’s chances and although he birdied the 13th and came agonisingly close to a hole-in-one on the next, a birdie on the 16th was followed by a three-putt bogey on the last.

Shane Lowry carded a one-over 71 to slip back to three over for the tournament.

“I was so proud of myself after my start today,” said Fitzpatrick as he got into contention and fought back superbly after dropping shots on the first two holes.

“To get back to the same score I started on at the end of the front nine I was absolutely delighted and I’ve put myself in a good position.”

Having made the cut on the mark of four over par, American Webb Simpson jumped 54 places up the leaderboard courtesy of a superb 65, the lowest score of the day.

“I think it’s probably top two or three best rounds I’ve ever had in a Major, considering the conditions,” Simpson said.

“Today was a test of the mind as well as physically because we have a mist out there all day, club face is getting a little wet, it’s blowing sideways.

“We’ve gone from 92 degrees to what we had today, so the ball is going way shorter. So there’s a lot of adjusting on the fly, and I typically don’t like to play when it’s colder weather, so I surprised myself a bit today. But I’ll take it.”

Collated third round scores at the PGA Championship, Southern Hills
(USA unless stated, Par 70):

201 Guillermo Mito Pereira (Chi) 68 64 69

204 Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 68 69 67, Will Zalatoris 66 65 73

205 Cameron Young 71 67 67

206 Abraham Ancer (Mex) 67 69 70

207 Séamus Power (Irl) 71 69 67

208 Stewart Cink 69 68 71, Justin Thomas 67 67 74, Bubba Watson 72 63 73

209 Sam Burns 71 67 71, Lucas Herbert (Aus) 68 73 68, Max Homa 70 69 70, Chris Kirk 68 70 71, Davis Riley 68 68 73, Webb Simpson 69 75 65, Gary Woodland 70 68 71

210 Adria Arnaus (Spa) 72 68 70, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 70 70 70, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 71 70 69, Tom Hoge 66 74 70, Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 65 71 74, Xander Schauffele 68 73 69

211 Matt Kuchar 67 71 73, Kevin Na 68 71 72, Joaquin Niemann (Chi) 68 71 72, Cameron Smith (Aus) 68 70 73, Brendan Steele 70 72 69

212 Laurie Canter (Eng) 72 70 70, Rickie Fowler 71 70 71, Lucas Glover 75 69 68, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 70 68 74, Patrick Reed 69 70 73, Justin Rose (Eng) 71 70 71, Cameron Tringale 72 68 72, Aaron Wise 69 72 71

213 Talor Gooch 69 70 74, Russell Henley 70 73 70, Rikuya Hoshino (Jpn) 74 70 69, Kyoung-Hoon Lee (Kor) 69 73 71, Shane Lowry (Irl) 70 72 71, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 74 70 69, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 72 67 74

214 Brooks Koepka 75 67 72, Harold Varner III 71 71 72

215 Keegan Bradley 72 70 73, Jason Day (Aus) 71 72 72, Tony Finau 69 72 74, Brian Harman 74 70 71, Viktor Hovland (Nor) 70 70 75, Luke List 74 70 71, Troy Merritt 73 70 72, Jordan Spieth 72 69 74, Adam Schenk 71 72 72, Denny McCarthy 73 68 74

216 Cameron Davis (Aus) 72 72 72, Lanto Griffin 72 69 75, Marc Leishman (Aus) 72 71 73, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 72 72 72, Keith Mitchell 72 72 72

217 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 70 72 75, Shaun Norris (Rsa) 71 72 74, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 73 71 73, Kramer Hickok 71 71 75, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 71 73 73

218 Justin Harding (Rsa) 71 72 75, Collin Morikawa 72 72 74, Jon Rahm (Spa) 73 69 76, Kevin Streelman 71 72 75, Beau Hossler 69 71 78

219 Adam Hadwin (Can) 73 71 75, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 71 72 76, Jason Kokrak 74 68 77, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 69 73 77

221 Billy Horschel 75 69 77, Robert MacIntyre (Sco) 70 71 80

222 Patton Kizzire 69 75 78, Maverick McNealy 73 71 78, Sepp Straka (Aut) 71 72 79, Tiger Woods 74 69 79