Dublin, Ohio – If adversity really makes you stronger, Mito Pereira Enter the superhero zone.
What else could happen to the 27-year-old Chilean who went out of the scoring on Saturday after scoring twice at the Under-70s in the Memorial Tournament and grumbled: “What do you want me to say? It’s too bad.”
Pereira, now a resident of Tequesta, thinks he had a birdie in 14th place after his slide was suspended from 33 feet above the hole for more than 30 seconds before falling, much to the exhilaration of the show.
But after his run, Pereira was told that he did not handle the ball in the required time and the result was changed to a draw. Rule 13.3 states, “If any part of your ball hangs over the lip, you are allowed a reasonable time to reach the hole and then another 10 seconds to wait and see if it falls.”
If this time exceeds 10 seconds, the player is awarded the same score as if the ball was tapped.
Reaching out as if to say, ‘Why didn’t you fall,’ Pereira walked to the ball in a reasonable time. He looked at her and walked away.
“She was jiggling,” he said.
When someone at the show shouted “Don’t touch it,” Pereira wagon Scott McGuinness carefully removed the pin from the hole.
“I was going to push him, he was moving and then I waited,” Pereira said.
Finally the ball disappeared. The crowd roared. Pereira and co-playing partner, Keegan Bradley of Jupiter, clenched their fists.
Pereira did not think about it again until an official approached him during the recording.
“They said it was 30 (seconds),” he said. “Very tall but I don’t think she was 30. I think it’s not a very good rule, but it is what it is.”
Thinking it was a 5 under his turn, and within three shots of the lead, Pereira saved the No. 15 championship, but had an extended first with back-to-back ghosts at 16 and 17. No. 18 off the rough, about 73 feet away.
Pereira proved two weeks ago that he has the ability to forget the past. But he still wonders, “What more could happen?”
In need of parity on the 72nd hole of the PGA Championship, Pereira sailed the car to the right. I settled at the bottom of a narrow table. This awkward swing ended any chances in not only his first major tournament but his first PGA Tour win of any kind, as Pereira made a double bogey and missed the playoff by one shot. He finished tied for third behind Justin Thomas and Will Xalatores.
The following week, he finished in a tie with seventh place in the Charles Schwab Challenge, scoring intermediate round results of 66 and 68.
“I’m just trying to move on,” Pereira said. “He was still thinking about it. I did a good job trying to put my head into Colonial Week and trying to play as best I could.
“The first day was kind of weird to go back and play again but then on the second, third and fourth it was fine.”
A lesson that Pereira will take in his fourth turn at Muirfield Village.
Pereira’s rise to the leaderboard on Saturday had everything to do with his playing from the tee to the green. He earned his top five strokes from a tee and is in the top ten in strokes gaining a tee to the green.
“It hit really good engines, really good second shots,” he said. “I haven’t been in good shape all day.”
His placements for his five juices were 3, 7, 5, 1 and 6 feet tall.
When he needed a shot to save the ball, he missed from 6, 8 and 13 feet.
Now, Pereira has to put himself back into the mentality he was in when entering Charles Schwab and forget the last five holes on Saturday as one bird was taken away and stumbled upon his only ghost in a row for the day.
And if he can recover from giving up Raed, Pereira should enter Sunday’s final round with a clear head.
Tom D’Angelo is a journalist at The Palm Beach Post. You can reach him at email@example.com.