HomeUSA NewsOh, So, Shut, Zalatoris Finishes 2nd in But One other Main |...

Oh, So, Shut, Zalatoris Finishes 2nd in But One other Main | Sports activities Information | gadgetfee

By EDDIE PELLS, AP Nationwide Author

BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) — The putt slid an inch — make {that a} millimeter — outdoors the left fringe of the cup. Will Zalatoris squatted right into a low crouch and let go of the putter, feeling it slide off the again of his shoulder and onto the turf. He bounced his fingers off the inexperienced then cupped them over his face.

That is what agony appears to be like like on a golf course. And even when it by no means felt extra sure that Zalatoris is destined to win a serious in the future — in all probability quickly — Sunday on the U.S. Open was probably the most excruciating of his ever-growing checklist of shut calls.

“I assumed I had it,” Zalatoris stated after his miss left him one shot and fewer than an inch from a playoff with the champion, Matt Fitzpatrick.

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Zalatoris shot 1-under 69 to lose by a shot. This second-place end comes a mere 4 weeks after Zalatoris completed second on the PGA Championship in a loss to Justin Thomas in a playoff. And fewer than 15 months after he completed second on the Masters by one measly shot to Hideki Matsuyama.

In all, this marked his sixth top-10 end within the majors since Zalatoris made his debut within the majors on the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, two years in the past. He’s 25, has been on the PGA Tour for lower than two years and now has runner-up finishes at three of the 4 majors.

“I am three photographs away from having an opportunity of being a three-time main champion,” Zalatoris stated. “A bounce right here or there.”

He and Fitzpatrick had been tied as they walked onto the fifteenth tee field, a 500-yard, par-4 monster with a blind drive over a hill. Fitzpatrick blocked his drive wildly to the appropriate. Zalatoris missed his, too, however not as badly.

After they arrived on the balls, Fitzpatrick’s was sitting on a skinny space trampled down by the gallery. Zalatoris’ was gnarled in 4-inch excessive, lush grass.

Fitzpatrick made a birdie from there; Zalatoris made bogey. He could not overcome that two-shot swing.

“We’re strolling down and he goes, ‘I barely miss the green and I’ve received a horrible lie and he misses it by 30 yards and he’s OK,’” stated Zalatoris’ caddie, Ryan Goble. “However Matt performed nice. And yeah, it was an excellent expertise. So that you simply say, ‘Yeah, we’ll get him subsequent time.’”

Zalatoris did not have his tour card in 2020 when the pandemic compelled the USGA to scrap qualifying and hand out exemptions to high gamers on the Korn Ferry Tour.

He made the sector primarily based on a excessive rating that was helped by what nonetheless stands as his solely skilled win. What stood out about that Korn Ferry victory in Colorado is that Zalatoris went into the ultimate spherical with the lead and wrote Goble a examine for the winner’s share earlier than he hit a shot that day.

That is referred to as confidence, and it has been rising ever since.

“It is simply the endurance and his mentality when he has a nasty gap, it is unbelievable,” Goble stated. “I’ve by no means been round anyone who can simply minimize it off like that and transfer onto the subsequent gap.”

Zalatoris got here to The County Membership on Sunday sporting a shirt dotted with silhouettes of Frances Ouimet and his 10-year-old caddie, Eddie Lowery. It was Ouimet’s stirring victory right here in 1913 that helped put golf on the map in America.

After 11 holes Sunday, Zalatoris regarded like he’d be part of the likes of Ouimet, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and all the remaining among the many pantheon of U.S. Open champions.

He made putts of 18 toes for birdies on 9 and 11 to open a two-shot lead. He gave a shot again on the par-4 twelfth. Then, after driving the ball wildly on 13, he answered an extended Fitzpatrick birdie with a 12-foot par save of his personal to maintain the match tied.

All that appeared to place to relaxation, not less than for a day, the lingering questions on Zalatoris’ flat stick. All the most important success apart, he got here to The Nation Membership because the A hundred and sixtieth-ranked putter on the PGA Tour.

The largest putt of all barely slid by.

A half-hour after that miss, Zalatoris stated he took some solace in that he did not miss any quick putts, the likes of which have damage him in his earlier shut calls, like on the sixteenth gap on the PGA Championship final month.

And he did not three-putt all week.

And he made it via 72 holes of the hardest check in golf and not using a double-bogey.

“Sometimes that results in enjoying effectively in a U.S. Open. So the recipe’s there. The sport’s there,” Zalatoris stated. “However like I stated, I’ve simply received to attend my flip.”

Copyright 2022 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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