GOLF

Will Zalatoris’ fiancée asked an innocent question – and gave golf a no-no

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Will Zalatoris during Saturday’s third round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

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You asked the question. It was asked of you. And that’s how Caitlin Sellers asked her fiance, Will Zalatoris, on Thursday about her plans for the weekend.

But …

To set that up, Zalatoris shot a par 71-for-71 on Thursday in his first round at the FedEx St. Jude Championship. He was nine strokes behind leaders JJ Spaun and Si Woo Kim. He only had 18 holes to make a move to survive the cut.

And Zalatoris and Sellers spoke Thursday night.

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“I had a hilarious conversation with my fiancée about it because she asked me Thursday night what my plans were if I didn’t do the weekend,” Zalatoris said Saturday night.

“She meant that in all good fun.”

Oh man. You know the problem here. You can ask the question, and you can be asked, but be careful if you ask a professional golfer what he can do on Saturday and Sunday when he works Thursday and Friday hoping to work more on weekends.

A reporter then asked a key follow-up question.

“What answer did you give him?”

“I told him to cross that bridge when we get there,” Zalatoris said.

It’s a golf site, not a wedding site, but run like a pro. The exchange may even have been motivating. Hours after the chat, Zalatoris shot a seven under 63 in Friday’s second round, which was tied for the lowest score of the day, and, yes, he moved on to the weekend. On Saturday, Zalatoris shot a five-under-65, and he entered Sunday’s final round two shots off the lead.

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Before the St. Jude, Zalatoris had a notable streak of more than two years on the PGA Tour, and a notable last week. As of the US Open in 2020, the 25-year-old compiled a whopping 16 top 10 finishes, including six at the majors, and he rose to world No. 14. Yet he is winless, and so, somewhat surprisingly, he parted ways with longtime caddie Ryan Goble between the second and third rounds of last week’s Wyndham Championship as near misses continued to accumulate.

Going forward, Joel Stock will be on Zalatoris’ bag, and if you’re looking for what the difference between Thursday’s 71 and Friday’s 63 may have been, it might be this: Thursday, Zalatoris was reading his own putts ; Friday and Saturday, Stock and Zalatoris read them both.

“You know, I think it was honestly fair that we still try to figure each other out a little bit,” Zalatoris said. “Usually a really good green reader, but he thinks that’s – you know, we haven’t really had different putt reads so far; it’s really fair to have the confirmation that we have got the right read and if it goes in, it goes in, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. But I think the confirmation part is the part that really helped.

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is an editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories in the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to clear his score. You can contact him about any of these topics – his stories, his game or his beers – at nick.piastowski@golf.com.

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