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May 21, 2022

Mito Pereira

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Southern Hills Country Club

Flash Quotes

JOHN DEVER: Pleased to be joined by Mito Pereira, Mito carded a 1-under par 69 today, and he has now moved to 9-under par for the championship. He has a three-shot lead.

Mito, you know, right around the turn, four bogeys in five holes but then you found yourself some resiliency that's often required in a major championship. That has to make you feel good about not only what you accomplished but where you are going into the last round.

MITO PEREIRA: Yeah, I mean, I was playing really good and suddenly I made four bogeys in five holes. It was a tough place to be at that moment. But just found myself, like you said, from 13 on, I made 3-under, and that -- those holes are pretty tough.

So really happy how I ended up playing the birdie on 18 was a bonus. Just happy to be in this position.

Q. Tomorrow you're obviously going to be playing the biggest golf round of your life. When your head hits the pillow tonight, what are you going to be thinking about, and how are you going to prepare?

MITO PEREIRA: I don't know yet. I'll just try to disconnect a little bit I guess. Yesterday was a pretty nervous today. I was in the final pairing. I'll just try to rest, do what I do every day and keep it simple.

Q. How do you think you keep it out of your mind? Sounds like you don't want it playing on your mind when you go to sleep.

MITO PEREIRA: Yeah, I mean, we're staying in a house with three friends, my wife. We've got a bunch of things that we can do.

Q. Could you talk about how you turned it around, basically in those last six, seven holes?

MITO PEREIRA: I think it's more just mental. Obviously that birdie really helped on 13 to get things going. But I was -- I wasn't playing really bad in those bogeys. Just a couple, like one three-putt, one bad break. So it wasn't like I was losing my confidence. I was still hitting the ball really well so I just hold to that and like try to do my best.

Q. How would you classify your ball-striking through the week? Better than any time this year, or as good as?

MITO PEREIRA: I think last week and this week has been really good. Today it was a really tough day. It was windy, cold, gusting. I thought I hit it really well. Hit some bad shots. But it's normal. So I think I'm hitting the ball just awesome.

Q. Obviously today was a big round. Tomorrow is going to be even bigger but was there anything about today's round that felt different from any other tournament you've ever played?

MITO PEREIRA: There was more crowds for sure. Not all of them were pulling for me. I just try -- I mean, yeah, it's by far the biggest tournament I played, the biggest round of golf and tomorrow is going to be even bigger. I just -- I don't know how to say, just try to keep it simple, try to do the same things that I've been doing, try to not even look at the people that's around me.

Q. Did it feel like the crowd was pulling for someone else besides you?

MITO PEREIRA: No, it was like 30/70.

Q. You had a WD from the tournament at Zurich. How is the back doing and what have you done to get it back into good shape?

MITO PEREIRA: Yeah, right now, I think it's perfect. I mean, I took almost three weeks off so I really did some recovery in that and I just feel really good. My back is in a perfect position right now.

Q. When we talk about playing under pressure, who are your role models when you were young, where you looked at them and said, that's how to do it?

MITO PEREIRA: Tiger for sure.

Q. Anyone local?

MITO PEREIRA: Tiger was the biggest one. He did whatever we had to do whenever he had to do it.

JOHN DEVER: You're playing in this championship for the first time. It's well-chronicled all the 20-somethings that have thrust themselves into the forefront of this game. Do you take solace knowing someone like Collin Morikawa won this tournament in his first-go around just two years ago, so your formula has come to fruition before and somewhat recently. Does that help?.

MITO PEREIRA: I guess. That's just how it is. If you play really good golf during the week, you're going to win. Doesn't matter your first time or your 10th time, if you play really, really well you're, going to have chances.

Q. When you first got here, did course setup well for you? Did you say, this is a golf course I can handle and I know what I want to do here?

MITO PEREIRA: I knew that to hit the ball well was going to be a huge factor. It's a tough course. You have some spots that you can't hit. So I guess ball-striking, it's a really must here and I've been doing that. I knew the course and I already knew that I had to hit it really well.

JOHN DEVER: Have you through the course of your career been a pretty good cold weather player like we had today? Have you been able to handle that type of weather conditions? Have you enjoyed it?

MITO PEREIRA: I've played in every weather. Obviously I like to play more in the heat but I think it's a challenge when it comes to this and I like that.

Q. You've been putting just really well this week and I'm curious if that's validating for the hard work you've done with Steve to really get that in shape?

MITO PEREIRA: Yeah, we have been working really hard. I have just irregular weeks when I'm putting, whenever I'm putting well, just do really well. Last week I played really well, didn't putt well. Came here trying to find something. And these past two, three days, I've been rolling it really good, so I'm really happy for the work I've done.

Q. What did you find?

MITO PEREIRA: Just mental things. I don't know, just sensations, basically.

Q. Which sensation? Sorry, I know it's weird but what specifically?

MITO PEREIRA: It's more of a rhythm. Just one little thing about technique but mostly try to do the same swing every time. Try to do the same rhythm and not change it so much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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