Will Zalatoris Player Profile And What's In The Bag
IF YOU are going to win your first tournament on the PGA Tour you may as well make it a FedEx Cup playoff event. And that’s exactly what Will Zalatoris did, when he defeated Austria's Sepp Straka on the third play-off hole to claim the FedEx St Jude Championship in Memphis.
After both finished on 15 under par, they could not be separated until TPC Southwind's par three 11th.
Straka found the water off the tee, while American Zalatoris' first shot ended on a brick wall above the hazard. Zalatoris took a drop and pitched to seven feet before sinking a bogey putt as Straka only made the green in four.
"It's kind of hard to say 'about time' when you're in your second year on Tour but it's about time," said 25-year-old Zalatoris, who tied for second at this year's US Open and lost a play-off to Justin Thomas at the PGA Championship.
"Considering all the close finishes that I've had this year, to finally pull it off means a lot."
Zalatoris was named PGA Tour rookie of the year after finishing runner-up at The Masters in 2021.
He has risen up to 14th in the world rankings after eight top-10 finishes this year.
Earlier, 29-year-old Straka missed a birdie to win the tournament on the 18th as he carded a three-under 67, while Zalatoris made par on the final hole for a round of 66.
The St Jude Championship is the first of three events to decide the Tour champion, with the winner picking up $18m (£14.8m).
Overnight leader JJ Spaun finished on five under, tied for 42nd, after a 78, while Open champion Cameron Smith from Australia ended on nine under following a two-shot penalty before the final round.
Americans Brian Harman and Lucas Glover tied for third on 12 under, while seven players finished on 11 under, including England's Matthew Fitzpatrick and Spain's Jon Rahm.
Smith, who would have leapfrogged American Scottie Scheffler into the world number-one spot with victory, carded a final-round 70.
He was penalised two strokes after being judged to have incorrectly replaced his ball in a penalty drop during his third round.
Forced to take a drop after hitting his tee shot into the water on the par-three fourth, he dropped the ball outside the penalty area and it rolled back, coming to rest touching the red line marking the drop zone.
Smith had scored a 67 on Saturday to move to 11 under par.
Rules committee members reviewed video replays of the hole after Smith had finished his round, before summoning him to discuss their findings.
Gary Young, of the PGA Tour rules staff, said: "At that point, he said 'yes, my ball was definitely touching the line'. He wasn't aware that no portion of the ball could be touching the line."
Who is Will Zalatoris?
Zalatoris was born in San Francisco in August 1996. He won the 2020 TPC Colorado Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour. He was named PGA Tour rookie of the year last season after finishing second at The Masters. His record in the majors is pretty special - he has played in 10 as a professional and has six top-10 finishes to his credit, including three runner-up finishes.
Ahead of his victory at the St Jude, which take shim to the top of the FedEx Cup rankings, he had finished second three times this season and had nine top-10 finishes.
He averages 314.7 yards from the tee and finds 55% of fairways and hits 70.80% off greens in regulation. He averages 4.31 birdies per round and 29.14 putts.
What's in Will Zalatoris's Bag?
Driver: Titleist TSR3 (8 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder TR 661 X
3-wood: Titleist TSR2+ (13 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 8 X
Irons: Titleist T200 (3), Titleist T100 (4-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (50-08F, 54-10S @55), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60-T)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X T11 prototype
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Tour
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Grips: Golf Pride ZGrip Cord
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