Will Zalatoris gets 1st PGA Tour win in playoff at Memphsi

MEMPHIS: The 10-foot par putt in regulation was so crucial and the moment so important that Will Zalatoris doesn’t remember screaming out wh...


MEMPHIS: The 10-foot par putt in regulation was so crucial and the moment so important that Will Zalatoris doesn’t remember screaming out when he made it, “What are they gonna say now?”

It took three playoff holes to get the answer Sunday in the FedEx St. Jude Championship, and it was more along the lines of what they won’t say. Zalatoris is no longer the best on the PGA Tour without a victory.

Already a force in the majors, Zalatoris got that first win out of the way with clutch putts and smart decisions to beat Sepp Straka and capture the first FedEx Cup playoffs event.

“It’s hard to say, ‘About time,’ when it’s your second year on tour, but it’s about time,” Zalatoris said. “Considering all those close finishes, it means a lot.”

He could have been referring to his runner-up to Hideki Matsuyama in the Masters last year, playoff losses at Torrey Pines and at Southern Hills in the PGA Championship, and most recently the putt that burned the edge of the cup that kept him from a U.S. Open playof-f.

This one could have gone either way, a playoff that featured three penalty drops in three holes, neither player making birdie and Zalatoris winning on the par-3 11th with a bo-gey.

He looked to be in trouble from a fairway bunker on the 18th in regulation until Zalatoris made that 10-footer for par at a 4-under 66. He was in the trees, close to a boundary fence on the 18th on the second playoff hole when he wisely chipped out and made a 15-foot par putt. Nothing was more wild than the final hole.

His tee shot hit the bank and then bounced seven times on the rocks before coming to rest. Straka followed with a shot that hit the bank, took one bounce off the rocks and went into the water. A huge break for Zalatoris? Not really. He had no realistic shot.

Straka went to the drop zone and his wedge went into the back bunker. He played his fourth shot out to 4 feet as Zalatoris was still going over his options.

“Considering where Sepp was and he had 4 feet for 5, there’s no reason for me to try that shot and make it bank right into the grass and go back in the water and all of a sudden I’ve lost the golf tournament,” Zalatoris said.

He went to the drop zone, hit to 7 feet and let his raised hands drop over his head in relief when he made the winning putt.

-News Feed

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Local Glob: Will Zalatoris gets 1st PGA Tour win in playoff at Memphsi
Will Zalatoris gets 1st PGA Tour win in playoff at Memphsi
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