Then Cameron Young, the rising young star on the PGA Tour, and Bubba Watson, the 43-year-old Masters champion, struck a blow from the lead.
When play wrapped up on Saturday night, the 27-year-old and playing in his second major golf tournament, confidently, and daringly, reclaimed the lead of the leaderboard. After third round 69, he will enter the final round on Sunday with a three-stroke lead over Zalatores and Matthew Fitzpatrick of England.
Pereira, after a mid-round stumble, leapt over the other competitors in the third round with successive sparrows on holes 13 and 14. Then, with the 18th green runway full of cheer for him, he ended his day by sinking a 27-foot flying kick to move to nine under the lower for the championship.
While world number 100 Pereira is not a household name in professional golf, he has had three top 20 appearances on the PGA Tour this year and has won three times on the Korn Ferry Tour, the tour’s largest minor league circuit.
Zalatoris had a bumpy start on Saturday, shooting a four over the 39 in the front nine but he has proven himself by addressing some of his problems to shoot a rocky 73.
Having caught his first two holes, Fitzpatrick was five for the rest of his run to hit 67.
Young, whose father is David Young, a longtime pro golfer at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club in suburban New York, directed a late charge when he used the 296-yard hole Par 4 17 to drive through the green and take a short spin. With four sparrows on his run, Young shot 67 and was fourth with five sticks.
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