Will Zulator is encouraged by second place finish in PGA Championship

TULSA, Oklahoma — If there’s ever a player who will break through with a win, it’s Will Zatoris, who was edged out in a playoff by Justin Thomas in the final round of the 104th PGA Championship at Southern Hills on Sunday.

The 25-year-old Zatoris, who is still looking for his first PGA Tour win, has been at his best in major championships, with a second-place finish at the 2021 Masters, a tie at sixth place this year in Augusta and a a tie for sixth place at the 2020 US Open, a tie for eighth place at last year’s PGA, and now second place at Sunday’s PGA.

“I fought like crazy all day,” said Zatoris, who hit a 1-over par 71 on Sunday regular and was 1-under in the three-hole playoffs. “Pretty proud of the result I had. I think [Saturday] That was really the day I was pretty frustrated looking back (he shot 73).

“I’m obviously quite proud to be in this position considering Saturday, never thought I’d be standing here. I’m pretty excited about where my game is and I know I’m going to get one. Only a matter of time.”

PGA Championship
Justin Thomas (left) shakes hands with Will Zlatoris.
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Mito Pereira was pure class after losing his lead on the last hole when he hit his tee shot into the stream running down the left side of the 18th fairway.

“I didn’t want to end this week like that, but a really good result,” said the 27-year-old from Chile. “Really well played. Today I was really nervous. I tried to deal with it a bit but it’s really hard. I thought I would win at 18 but it is what it is. We’ll have another one.

“I just played really good golf for three days. Get some experience for that fourth in the closing group on a tough course that you need to hit well. If not, you will shoot 5-over. I just didn’t get it right today and I’ll just be a little more prepared for next time.”

Zlatoris, who played in front of Pereira in the group, sympathized with him, saying: “He played incredibly well this week. This 18th hole is one of the toughest finishing holes in all of golf. Kudos to him for playing so well. He’s an incredibly solid player from tee to green and around the greens so he’ll be a force to be reckoned with going forward.”

Rory McIlroy is getting fed up with this. His major drought at the Championship eight years ago seems to be getting to the 33-year-old from Northern Ireland.

McIlroy, who started the week by taking the lead in the first round with a 5-under par 65, went on to tear himself out of the lead – and the competition – with a 71 in the second round and a 74 in the third – out.

On Sunday, McIlroy appeared en route to another too-little-too-late rally and started a run of consecutive birdies in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place to finish 2 under par for the tournament. That’s where the run ended, however, as he fought his way up from 6th place to finish the day and tournament 2-under.

Rory McIlroy reacts during the final round of Sunday's PGA Championship.
Rory McIlroy reacts during the final round of Sunday’s PGA Championship.
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When he was done, McIlroy, typically one of the sport’s top interviewers, refused to come into the interview area to speak to reporters and then blew past reporters in the dressing room who wanted to speak to him.

It wasn’t a good look from McIlroy, but it was an example of the rising temperature of his level of frustration.

Talor Gooch, the only Oklahoma native in the field this week, finished 1 over par after a final round of 2 under 68 on Sunday, calling the week “as good as I can imagine.”

He called the week “the definition of golf” and added: “The first three days I played great and really didn’t get much out of my game. Today I didn’t do well at all and had the best lap of the week.

“It was a good finish. I only wish [Saturday] We could have gotten more out of my playing quality.”

https://nypost.com/2022/05/22/will-zalatoris-encouraged-by-runner-up-at-pga-championship/ Will Zulator is encouraged by second place finish in PGA Championship


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