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 is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x