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Will Zalatoris remains confident he’ll win a Major in the future despite having to settle for second place in the PGA Championship. The 25-year-old Californian lost in a playoff to Justin Thomas to finish second again after his runner-up finish in the 2021 Masters, extending his amazing Majors record to five top-10 finishes in eight starts.
Rather than think of what might have been, Zalatoris was proud of his battling display and reiterated that he will take the top spot soon. “I know I’m going to get one,” he said after losing the three-hole playoff to Thomas. “It’s just a matter of time. We’ve only got four a year and it's been a dream of mine to win a Major since I was a little kid.
“It's never going to be world No.1 or anything like that. It's been to win a Major. I grew up when I lived in San Francisco, my dad was a member at California Golf Club, and there's a shrine for Ken Venturi in there with his US Open trophy. There's some of Ben Hogan's stuff in there. Being able to see that at a young age, and say, hey, I want to get one of those.”
Zalatoris was leading at Southern Hills Country Club at the halfway stage at 9-under-par after shooting 66 and 65 in his first two rounds, but started the final round three shots behind Mito Pereira after a disappointing 73 on Saturday. However, he battled to force his way into a playoff, closing with 1-over-par 71 to join Thomas at 5-under-par as Mito Pereira slipped out of contention.
“The fact I was able to get into a playoff was huge,” added Zalatoris. “I fought like crazy all day. I really thought I needed to make a few birdies 12 through 15, and just was barely missing on the edges and speed got off a little bit. I had a lot of putts uphill breaking a foot and a half, and they were just so hard to hit especially out here because you know they can run away from you.
“I’m pretty proud of the result that I had. I think yesterday [Saturday] was really the day that looking back on it, I was pretty frustrated with. Especially after missing the cut last week, I'm obviously pretty proud to be sitting in this position considering Saturday, I never thought I would have been.
“I always felt like I was one, two, three back and then once I saw Mito hit in the water on 18, I know that putt that I was going to have on 18 was probably to get into a playoff. So I will bottle that putt on 18 for the future.”
Both Zalatoris and Thomas birdied the first of the three extra holes, but eventual winner Thomas repeated that as they played the 17th again before parring the last, and Zalatoris’s two pars came up just short.
Zalatoris said: “I'll play those holes at 1-under any day of the week and JT happened to play in two. I hit a great putt on 17. We just under read it. Like I said, hats off to JT. He's been due for a while to get another win, let alone a Major. So excited for him.”
The former Wake Forest star, who played his final round with college teammate Cameron Young, moved up to a new career-high of 14th in the latest Official World Golf Ranking and picked up $1,620,000 for finishing second.
Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!
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