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Will Zalatoris remains grounded as his golf stock rockets skyward

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – He received a shoutout from a Hollywood star.

His galleries and interview requests are rising by the week and he’s banked $3 million this yr. And he’s coming off a runner-up end within the Masters.

How are you rolling, Will Zalatoris?

“I think none of that will really sink in until I get home. It’s definitely different, going and picking up some food and people asking for autographs or pictures,” the 24-year-old rookie mentioned on Wednesday on the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links. “I kind of humble myself and say, ‘I didn’t win, I finished second.’ It’s like, I’ve felt like I’ve been getting some treatment like I won, but to me it’s funny.

“I enjoy it, interacting with the fans. They’re the ones that we play for.”

Despite all of the heady stuff happening in his world, Zalatoris remains level-headed. His meteoric rise – he was ranked 1,514th within the Official World Golf Ranking in April of 2019, was 483rd in April of 2020 and now rests at 27th after almost turning into the primary rookie to win the Masters in 42 years – hasn’t modified his good nature and calm demeanor.

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He’s nonetheless the identical man who was Monday qualifying for Korn Ferry Tour occasions two years in the past, the identical man who gained his lone professional title on the TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes on the Korn Ferry Tour final July.

Then once more, he’s not the identical man contained in the ropes and he may simply be on the USA Ryder Cup workforce. Since successful in Colorado, he’s made 22 begins on the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Tour and completed within the top-10 10 occasions and the top-25 18 occasions. He tied for sixth within the U.S. Open and fell one shot shy of Hideki Matsuyama within the Masters – the one two majors he’s performed as a professional.

Last week, fulfilling an almost lifelong dream, he was on cloud 9 enjoying Augusta National however didn’t let the second go to his head, a nod to the robust help system round him, together with his dad and mom and golf mentor, David Price.

At Augusta, Zalatoris turned an enormous storyline early on and revered swing coach Butch Harmon mentioned Zalatoris regarded like a 1-iron with no grip.

And then film star Adam Sandler, aka Happy Gilmore, famous in a tweet that Zalatoris regarded like one in all his caddies within the Nineteen Nineties comedy and wrote: “Have fun today young man. Mr. Gilmore is watching you and very proud.”

Zalatoris responded with his personal tweet – “If you’re ever in need of a caddie again let me know. I’ll be better this time. I’m always available for you, Mr. Gilmore.” – after which went out and virtually gained a inexperienced jacket.

When he left Augusta National, there have been 852 textual content messages on his telephone.

“I still wish I could put into words how much fun I actually had,” Zalatoris mentioned. “I was able to appreciate playing in my first Masters because, of course, like I’ve said, I really haven’t taken anything for granted over the last two years.

“It’s a crazy wild ride that I’ve enjoyed every single minute of it. To be in contention on a Sunday at Augusta was obviously a dream come true. Obviously to come up one short will sting forever, but I know that I can contend against the best players in the world, and I know I’m capable of getting those two shots somewhere pretty soon.”

Pretty quickly may very well be this week as he makes his event debut. The tight, treelined Harbour Town with smallish greens appears proper up Zalatoris’ alley due to his ball-striking abilities.

“I love the golf course,” he mentioned. “It’s in phenomenal shape. I think it will be a really good place for me. It’s very tight off the tee, overhanging trees. Obviously really got to work the golf ball into some of these greens just because of kind of the tight corners.

“But I’m looking forward to it. This was a tournament that even though a lot of people on paper did say, well, you hit it far, this place kind of handcuffs your advantage, but obviously my iron play I think is the best part of my game, and so this is an event that I’ve really been looking forward to.

“This golf course actually suits me pretty well.”

Lately, most each course has suited him properly.


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