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Five things to know about Will Zalatoris, the 24-year-old in contention at the Masters

Not since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 has a Masters rookie walked away with the inexperienced jacket at Augusta National. Only three gamers have ever executed it. There’s a reliable chance it might occur once more on Sunday as Will Zalatoris hovers close to the prime of the leaderboard.

Zalatoris, 24, performed in Saturday’s ultimate spherical alongside Justin Rose. He has displayed a superb really feel for the golf course (notably the greens) and opened with rounds of 70-68. In the third spherical, Zalatoris struggled to get something going, offsetting every birdie with a bogey.

Who is the tall, skinny blonde who just lately rose off the ranks of the Korn Ferry Tour? We offer you the fundamentals beneath.

Is this week actually a shock?

You heard it right here first: Will Zalatoris is a top-15 participant in the world. Period. Even way back to January, when Zalatoris teed it up in the Farmers Insurance Open, he did in order the No. 13-ranked participant in the Golfweek/Sagarin Professional Rankings. He was ranked No. 11 in the Sagarins heading into the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Many have famous his rise in the Official World Golf Ranking. Zalatoris began the 12 months No. 53 in that rating and now’s ranked No. 45. The Sagarins gave an early window into what Zalatoris was able to this week.

How did he get right here?

Masters Tournament

Masters Tournament

Will Zalatoris putts on the thirteenth inexperienced throughout the third spherical of the 2021 Masters Tournament. (Photo: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)

Zalatoris has but to win on the PGA Tour, however his first Korn Ferry Tour win got here in July 2020 at the TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes. Zalatoris is the main points-getter on the 2020-21 Korn Ferry tour factors checklist, having gained $403,978 in 16 occasions. Because of his place at the prime of that factors checklist, Zalatoris certified for the 2020 U.S. Open in September and completed T-6. He is a particular short-term member of the PGA Tour, which permits him limitless sponsor exemptions this season (in any other case capped at seven). The world pandemic eradicated a promotion to the PGA Tour this season – until, in fact, he wins 3 times on the Korn Ferry Tour (in different phrases, two extra instances) for an automated promotion. The Masters is Zalatoris’ ninth begin in 2021 on the PGA Tour.

Why does he look so acquainted?

Not surprisingly, golf Twitter trotted out the memes as quickly as Zalatoris grew to become an element at Augusta National. He has alternately been in contrast to Owen Wilson… …and Happy Gilmore’s caddie at the Waterbury Open.

What about junior golf?

One line on his resume appears comparable to some notable Masters champions: Like Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods (amongst others) earlier than him, Zalatoris is a former U.S. Junior champion. Zalatoris claimed the title in 2016, when he defeated Davis Riley in the ultimate match. He had first performed that championship 4 years earlier, when he was simply 12 years previous.

And faculty golf?

Zalatoris performed faculty golf for head coach Jerry Haas at Wake Forest, however turned skilled midway by means of his senior 12 months in December 2015. By that point, he owned three particular person titles and had been named the 2017 ACC Player of the Year. In the summer time of 2017, Zalatoris was chosen to the U.S. Walker Cup group, becoming a member of gamers like Cameron Champ, Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler and Maverick McNealy on that squad. The Americans defeated Great Britain and Ireland that 12 months at Los Angeles Country Club.



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