Pereira, after a mid-round stumble, vaulted past the other third-round contenders with consecutive birdies on the 13th and 14th holes. Then, with a packed 18th green grandstand cheering for him, he closed out his day by sinking a 27-foot birdie putt to move to nine-under for the tournament.
While Pereira, who is ranked 100th worldwide, is not a household name in professional golf, he has had three top 20 finishes on the PGA Tour this year and won three times on the Korn Ferry Tour, the tour’s top minor league circuit.
Zalatoris had a bumpy start Saturday, shooting a four-over 39 on the front nine but steadied himself by curing some of his putting woes to shoot a rocky 73.
After bogeying his first two holes, Fitzpatrick was five-under for the rest of his round to shoot 67.
Young, whose father is David Young, the longtime golf professional at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in the suburbs of New York, made a late charge when he eagled the 296-yard par 4 17th hole by driving the green and making a short putt. With four birdies in his round, Young shot 67 and was in fourth place at five-under overall.
After a sparkling front nine, Watson, who knocked his ball into seven bunkers during Saturday’s round, faltered and shot 73 and was tied for seventh.
Woods’s troubles on Saturday were not doubt exacerbated by the Tulsa weather. With a back that has been operated on five times, Woods has not enjoyed playing in cold, damp conditions for more than a decade because it reduces the flexibility and fluidity of his golf swing. He is also still adjusting to modifications to his game required as he continues his recovery from last year’s tumbling car crash, which shattered several bones in his lower right leg.