Mon, 21 Jun 2021

Local knowledge is Will Zalatoris' secret weapon at Byron Nelson

Field Level Media
12 May 2021, 08:40 GMT+10

Will Zalatoris' rocket ship to stardom hit a bump in the road with last week's missed cut at the Wells Fargo Championship.

A 75 on Friday left him two shots outside of the cut line for the first time in seven months, but Zalatoris intends to make it a momentary setback.

"It's probably a blessing in disguise considering I'm playing the next four (weeks) in a row and one of them being a major," Zalatoris said Tuesday.

Part of Zalatoris' confidence in a quick turnaround is that the Dallas resident gets to sleep in his own bed this week while competing at the ATT Byron Nelson. He is also very familiar with TPC Craig Ranch, a course he estimates he first played as a 12-year-old and has competed on numerous times.

"I guess I've been competing here basically half my life," the 24-year-old said. "I've got a lot of great memories here."

Local knowledge of how to play in the often windy conditions and on Zoysia grass should aid in Zalatoris' quest to claim his first PGA Tour title. A win is about the only thing missing from his stellar rookie year on tour.

Zalatoris served notice with his tie for sixth at the U.S. Open in September and earned temporary member status later in the year. Zalatoris broke inside the top 50 in the world rankings with consecutive top-20s early in 2021 before finishing a lone shot behind Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama.

Zalatoris has played twice since his memorable run at Augusta National, where he was the only player to post four rounds under par for the week. He made an even larger life memory by getting engaged to girlfriend Caitlin Sellers.

And no matter what happens at the Byron Nelson, Zalatoris has already qualified to tee it up at his first PGA Championship next week.

"Obviously, it's been a really fun year," he said. "My goal is to obviously win one before the season's over and be a part of the FedExCup playoffs. But I've kind of given this same monotonous answer for the last six months of I've been sticking to the same practice routine and same process for two years and it's gotten me to here.

"So I think last week was a great reminder to keep sticking with that process and not force anything. Just because you've had some success doesn't mean that we need to be changing goals, changing our attitude.

"I think if anything it's just keep doing what we're doing and run the tables and if this is my week, yeah, of course it would be wonderful to win in front of family and friends. But how I do that is just keep doing what I'm doing."

--Field Level Media

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