World No. 100 Mito Pereira leads the chasing pack by three strokes after posting a one-under 69, leading the major with a nine-under score after 54 holes.
Pereira, a rookie yet to win on the PGA Tour, took a four-stroke lead after five holes but a series of four bogeys over five holes put him back in the pack.
Consecutive birdies on 13 and 14 once again extended his lead, showing a poise and determination that belied the 27-year-old Chilean’s experience. And he finished his game in perfect fashion, earning a 20-foot birdie putt to delight the fans.
Playing in his first PGA Championship, Pereira is just 18 holes away from picking up a major victory and completing a fairy tale story.
And he has a group of young players – all inexperienced at the majors – hot on his trail.
Pereira benefited from erratic play from Will Zalatoris on Saturday.
The young American was playing in the final duo alongside Pereira, having finished second in the standings on Friday, but struggled in the colder and windier weather.
The 25-year-old struggled with his drive and putt all day, consistently failing to hit the fairways and missing some putts he was usually meant to make.
Zalatoris carded four bogeys – and no birdies – in his front nine and two birdies and another bogey on his back nine, en route to finishing with a three-over 73 and six-under for the tournament.
Elsewhere, Matt Fitzpatrick produced a brilliant third round to drag himself into contention in the final round.
The young British player finished with a three under 67 to finish six under overall. This will be the first time he has found himself in the top 10 entering the final round of a major tournament.
For Fitzpatrick – who is trying to become the first Englishman to win the PGA Championship since Jim Barnes in 1919 – he has found form in recent months which he is putting to work in golf’s off-season.
“My drive was already a good strength last year and putting has always been one of my strengths,” he told the media.
“We have made changes to my short game and irons this winter. So far I feel like they have paid off. I think the most important thing for me is that my results have shown it, but I also feel it in my game. I feel like I can hit shots the way I want to see and so far it’s been a good year.”
And the top four are rounded out by Cameron Young, who also shot an excellent 67 to end the day with five under for the tournament.
Young, who also did not win on the PGA Tour, is competing in his first PGA Championship and this is the first time he has qualified for the weekend of a major tournament.
After a bogey at the start of his inning, three birdies catapulted him up the standings. But it was an eagle on the 17th hole that really turned his round from average to great, and landed him in one of Sunday’s final pairings.