Mito Pereira Benefits From Controversial Drop At PGA Championship

The Chilean managed to drop his ball from the first cut of rough into the fairway due to a local rule

Mito Pereira hits a golf shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

PGA Championship leader Mito Pereira benefitted from a controversial drop on Saturday at Southern Hills after he was allowed to drop his ball from the first cut of rough into the fairway.

The Chilean's drive went left on the ninth hole and ended up in an area where spectators were crossing the hole. It meant he was allowed a free drop within a club length, eventually dropping his ball in the fairway.

““I can’t believe this drop. Where that ball is, he’s got to keep the flag in line. He’s not going backwards. That, to me is quite amazing to be able to get it onto the fairway. That’s pretty warped stuff," Sky Sports' Wayne Riley said on commentary. Nick Dougherty described it as a "monumental drop" whilst fans on social media called it "scandalous", "lucky" and a "joke of a drop."

He eventually didn't actually benefit from, or take advantage of, the drop, as his ball grabbed and spun back off the green and led to a bogey. Perhaps his shot would have released more and stayed on the putting surface had he kept his original lie.

He was three strokes clear at the time and his bogey at nine was his second of three consecutive bogeys. The World No.100 recovered well with three birdies coming home to shoot 69 and reach nine-under-par for a three stroke lead. He'll be off in the final group on Sunday alongside Matt Fitzpatrick, with the Englishman and Will Zalatoris three back at six-under.

He seeks to become the first ever South American to win the PGA Championship on Sunday in what is just his second Major and the first one he has made the cut in.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5