Mito Pereira wins BMW Charity Pro-Am to earn automatic promotion to PGA Tour

Sports

GREER, S.C. (Korn Ferry Tour) – Mito Pereira made history on Sunday as he became the 12th player in the Korn Ferry Tour’s 32-year history to earn the Three-Victory Promotion to the PGA TOUR. Pereira carded a final-round 64 to come from three strokes back and earn his third victory of the season at the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation, including two in the last two weeks.

“This is crazy, man,” smiled Pereira after the win. “Like I said, I didn’t ever think I could win three times on this Tour and now I’ve just won three times in one year and going to the PGA TOUR. This is by far the best thing that I’ve done in my life. I just can’t wait to get there and just to play the best I can.”

In addition to becoming the 12th player to earn the promotion to the TOUR – and first since Wesley Bryan in 2016 – Pereira also becomes the 12th player to win back-to-back events on the Korn Ferry Tour after his victory at last week’s REX Hospital Open. The 11th (Cameron Young) and 12th players to win back-to-back on Tour happened over the past four weeks, while the feat had previously not been accomplished since 2013 (Michael Putnam).

“Probably since I was 4, 5, so it’s been a long ride,” said Pereira of his PGA TOUR dreams. “There’s been tough moments, good moments, but it’s all worth it…I hope it helps everybody in Chile to grow this game and to get more easy entrance to the game. I’m so happy. I wanted to thank them, too. Chile has been great. All the people supporting me, thanks for everybody.”

Pereira joins his good friend Joaquin Niemann in representing the country of Chile on TOUR, someone who he has stayed with at points over the past year and a half as the COVID-19 pandemic shut off international travel.

“Joaquin’s been great not just for me, for Chile, too,” said Pereira. “He’s grown the game, everybody’s interested. I’m playing good now and there’s more people interested in golf. He’s been doing great. And I stay at his house whenever I can, so I just want to thank him, too. I’ll see him in two weeks.”

After opening the day three strokes back, Pereira birdied his first two holes to close the gap on 54-hole leader Justin Lower. After a bogey at the fourth, Pereira birdied four out of five holes from Nos. 7-11 (excluding 10) to take the lead. He followed it up with three consecutive birdies on Nos. 14-16 to distance himself and take full control down the stretch.

With the win, Pereira earns PGA TOUR membership for the remainder of the season and the full 2021-22 season.  

“Oh, I’m going to celebrate, man,” laughed Pereira, a 26-year-old from Santiago. “This is three celebrations.”

After a 71 on Sunday, Lower earns the third runner-up finish of his career. While his first victory alluded him, the finish did advance him from 37th to 23rd in the Korn Ferry Tour points standings. Meanwhile Max McGreevy, who carded a final-round 65, moved up to third after beginning the final round T8.

Final-Round Notes

  • Sunday’s weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 88 degrees and wind N/NE at 4-10 mph
  • The BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation was the 13th event of 2021 and the 36th (of 43) of the 2020-21 combined season; Pereira claimed victories at the 2020 Country Club de Bogota Championship, the 2021 REX Hospital Open (last week) and this week’s tournament
  • Pereira has now had 10 consecutive rounds of 68 or better, dating back three tournaments (68-67-62-67-67-67-65-63-66-64)
  • With his finish, Lee Hodges (-14, T26) surpassed the Korn Ferry Tour’s 1,700-point threshold to officially secure his spot in The 25 and earn his PGA TOUR card this fall; Hodges is the ninth player to pass the Tour’s fail-safe number of 1,700 to earn his card
  • Making his Korn Ferry Tour debut, Austin Eckroat (-18, 7th) finished in the top-10; Eckroat was one of three players from the PGA TOUR University’s inaugural class competing in the tournament (Kevin Yu – T20, Garett Reband – MC)
  • This week’s purse was $700,000 with $126,000 going to the champion, Mito Pereira; Pereira also receives 500 Korn Ferry Tour points
  • The combined 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour schedule will conclude with 25 PGA TOUR cards awarded in August at the 2021 Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna, with an additional 25 cards awarded at the conclusion of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals

Final-Round Course Statistics (Thornblade Club)

  • Toughest Holes – No. 17 (3.276) and No. 18 (4.276)
  • Easiest Hole – Par-5 fifth (4.408)
  • Scoring Average (Front 9) – 33.908
  • Scoring Average (Back 9) – 35.316
  • Scoring Average (Total) – 69.224
  • Scoring Average (Cumulative) – 69.049

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