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Mito Pereira can take some solace from his final hole meltdown in the PGA Championship after breaking into the world’s top 50 and qualifying for the next four Majors. The Chilean, who made a double bogey when he just needed to par the 18th to win his first Major at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has moved up to a career best 49 on the latest Official World Golf Ranking.
The top 60 players as of May 23rd all receive entry to the US Open, which starts on June 16th at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, while the top 50 on May 23rd qualify for The 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, which begins on July 14th. And while he didn’t quite get the finish at the PGA Championship he’d hoped for, tying for third with Cameron Young, one shot behind Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris, means Pereira will be invited to both next year’s Masters and PGA Championship.
Pereira was a big favourite to win his first PGA Championship - and with it entry to the next 20 Majors - as he teed it up at the 72nd hole on Sunday, but a disastrous drive found the water and he couldn’t pull it back to even make the playoff with Thomas and Zalatoris, making a six at the par-4 hole. Afterwards he admitted to being beset by nerves but after saying he wished he could play that final hole again, he maintained, “We’ll have another one”. His performance means he will at least have more chances to right that wrong.
Having started last week as the World No.100, Pereira, who qualified for the PGA Tour by winning three Korn Ferry Tour events last season, did just enough to make it to the top 50 in the world at the crucial time, adding entries to both the US Open and 150h Open Championship to the Masters and PGA Championship invites that came with his top-four finish.
Pereira also earned a career-best $870,000 for coming tied-third at Southern Hills. Yet to win on the PGA Tour, his best performance prior to last week came in the Fortinet Championship last September, when he was third behind winner Max Homa and runner-up Maverick McNealy.
Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!
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