Will Zalatoris Wins First Career PGA Tour event
Memphis, TN – Will Zalatoris (-15) won the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship. He shot 66 to force a playoff with Sepp Straka. It was the first leg of the 2022 FedEx Cup playoffs, with the top 125 players of the 2021-2022 season making the field for the week. Zalatoris got off to a rough start before kicking it into gear on Friday with a 63. With the win, he enters next week in the top spot in the FedEx Cup rankings.
Zalatoris canned a clutch ten footer for par on the 72nd hole to stay at -15 and get into a playoff with Straka. Straka, coming off of six straight missed cuts, has apparently figured something out at the right time. Straka hit it in the water on the third playoff hole. Zalatoris’ tee shot finished in an unplayable lie so he went back to the drop zone and stuck a wedge from 90 yards. He cashed the putt for the win.
Zalatoris is no longer the best player in the world without a win. With many close calls in big tournaments already in his young career, there are certainly more wins coming. Following Zalatoris and Straka were Lucas Glover and Brian Harman at -12.
JJ Spaun entered the final round with a one shot lead over Sepp Straka, sitting at -13. He endured a nightmare of a final round, shooting 78 and finishing T42. His finish was enough to safely get him into the field next week.
Cameron Smith didn’t finish on top but still managed to be featured in many of the headlines this week. Early in the week, rumors surfaced that he has agreed to join LIV at the end of the season. He refused to substantiate those rumors. Then, he was informed of a two stroke penalty for a bad drop during his third round as he arrived at the golf course on Sunday morning.
Other players who had notable performances included Jon Rahm, who finished with a 66 to quietly finish T5 at -11; Tony Finau, whose hot form continues and also finished T5; Collin Morikawa, who hasn’t shown the greatest form of late and also finished T5; and Cameron Smith, who finished T13 at -9, after his two stroke penalty.
Surprisingly, Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler, two of the top three ranked players in the world, failed to make the cut. Hideki Matsuyama withdrew after round one with a back injury.
Next week, the FedEx Cup playoffs continue at the BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club in Delaware. It will be the first professional event hosted at the golf course. Only the top 70 will tee it up. Patrick Cantlay is the defending champion. Currently ranked 7th in the FedEx Cup rankings, he’ll defend against the likes of McIlroy, Scheffler, Justin Thomas, Zalatoris, and Cameron Smith.
Will Zalatoris What’s In The Bag
Driver: Titleist TSR3 8 (Fujikura Speeder TR 661 X)
3 Wood: Titleist TSR3 16.5 (Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 50-08F, 54-10S, Titleist WedgeWorks Proto 60-T (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Phantom X T-11 Proto