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After three play-off holes Will Zalatoris finally earns his first PGA Tour victory

Coming very close to victory 3 times this season, the slender Texan Will Zalatoris finally achieved his goals on Sunday in Memphis by winning his first career title on the PGA Tour. It allows him to take the lead in the FedEx Cup on the evening of the first Playoffs tournament.

Even the most reluctant doors eventually open.

That’s what must have been said Will Zalatoriswhen 3 times this year, he narrowly failed in his quest to lift his first trophy on the great American circuit.

Second in the Famers Insurance Open at the end of January (beaten in the play-off by Luke List), second in the PGA Championship at the end of May (beaten in the play-off by Justin Thomas), and second in the US Open (beaten by a blow by Matthew Fitzpatrick), the 25-year-old has ended up overcoming the curse that has dogged him since he fell one shot away from the winner of the 2021 Masters, Hideki Matsuyama.

With 8 top 10s this year and a record still empty of victory, he was the wealthiest player on the PGA Tour to have never won.

Sunday on the course of the TPC Southwind Will Zalatoris was finally the strongest but it took him to fight three additional holes to finally repair this anomaly and break the lock!

Rescues of all kinds

Previously the Dallas player, rather varnished on his face-off at 16, had also managed to save a crucial par at 18 to complete his 2nd round with a card of 66, one shot better than his opponent in the play-off a few minutes later the Austrian Sepp Straka.

The two men did not manage to decide between themselves during the first two attempts on this difficult par 4.

Zalatoris and Straka notably saving the par in the 2nd round at the cost of two magnificent “approach-putt” sequences.

Directed by the organizers on the par 3 hole n°11, a bogey was then enough for Zalatoris to finally get the best of the winner of the Honda Classic at the end of February.

The two players sent their face-off into the water but the American did not disunite and managed a new masterful “approach-putt” that Straka did not manage to “match”.

With this success Zalatoris takes control of the FedEx Cup, another incongruity, since he is ahead of Scottie Scheffler winner 5 times this year including the Masters and a stage of the World Golf Championship… Figure out who can.

Spaun too tender

Leader since a remarkable 62 on day one, JJ Spaun did not last the distance and literally exploded on Sunday by signing a very heavy 78.

10 moves more than the day before, 16 moves more than his score on Thursday!

Adam Scott continues his journey

Zalatoris’ 66 is the best score of this 4th round, a mark equaled by Adam Scott et John Rahm who entered the top 5 of the tournament.

For Australian Scott, 77th in the FedEx Cup at the end of the regular season, this result allows him to climb to 45th place and validate his ticket for the next Playoffs tournament in Wilmington, Delaware on Thursday.

As Wyndham Clarklast to qualify in 70th place after a twisted end to the game with a double and two bogeys on his last 5 holes.

Indeed only the first 70 of these end-of-season playoffs are invited to the BMW Championship, the penultimate meeting which precedes the traditional East Lake Tour Championship on the Atlanta side reserved for the 30 best.

Cam Smith’s retroactive penalty

To note that Cameron Smith, who could dethrone Scottie Scheffler at the top of the world hierarchy in the event of victory on Sunday, did not finally start two strokes behind as indicated by the classification on Saturday evening but with 4 strokes to fill.

Indeed the Australian was penalized with two blows Sunday one hour before his departure for having played his ball from an improper place, following a drop judged non-compliant a posteriori by the officials.

The video summary of the 4th round

Le Leaderboard

©PGA Tour

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