Brooklyn, Mass. – Will Zlatoris He came up short again, and this time he thought he had it.
After missing the 14-foot 18th hole that would have put him in a playoff with winner Matt Fitzpatrick, Zlatoris couldn’t help but sigh as he took home his second silver medal at the US Open on Sunday. He spoke to the media while the screens showed Fitzpatrick lifting the trophy and Zatores then walked out with a forced smile. He had to come off the stage to let the hero pass.
“That’s what really hurts,” said Zatores, who now has six top-10 finishes in nine big games, including three second-place finishes. “I’m just three shots away from – practically – having a shot at being a three-time main champion. Hop here or there.”
The 25-year-old entered Sunday without a major win or PGA Tour win but with plenty of confidence. He had said Saturday that he recently finished second in a playoff to Justin Thomas. At this year’s PGA Championship, it gave him the belief that he could be one of the best players in the world. But Faith couldn’t get his shot a few inches closer to the hole.
“I thought I had it left at about six feet,” Zlatoris said of his kick. “Of course it hurts. Having three drivers in my career so far.”
Xalatores tied with Fitzpatrick for the lead on Sunday. Zulatoris struggled early, making two bobs in the first five holes before his elusive club caught fire. He struck out four of the next six holes and at one point was two shots ahead of Fitzpatrick.
“I fought like crazy,” Zatores said, describing his driving throughout the week as “terrible” and adding that his hip bothered him. The usual problems for the 2021 Masters runner-up came with his racquet, but as he said with a smile on Sunday, he was fine.
Zalatores said of the 18 hit: “I’m sure all the idiots on Instagram would say it had something to do with the curvature of my left wrist and I promise it had nothing to do with it.”
The two costly errors for Zatores came to nine errors. On the 12th hole, he missed the pass and had to hit, resulting in 2 bogey shots. On the fifteenth day, he missed the pass again. Fitzpatrick did too, but he’s missed it so well so far that he had a better lie than Zatoris, who was in trouble. Fitzpatrick’s bird. Zalatoris cheated. The lead was then 2 in favor of Fitzpatrick.
In the 3rd segment of the 16th month, Zlatoris induced a bird to sit 1 backwards. But when Fitzpatrick saved his misguided drive and found shelter with a perfect iron shot on the 18th green, the pressure returned to Zatores, who then fired at Fitzpatrick’s 1v20 approach shot.
“I knew Will would get close to him,” Fitzpatrick said. “He’s one of the best approach players on the tours.”
Zalatoris met him just 15 feet away. Fitzpatrick 2 level, so Zatoris knew what he had to do. As he hit the ball and watched it flow through the hole without falling, it was Zatores who fell to his knees in pain. The hero stands.
“I was actually asked, how nervous were you when you were 18?” Zalatoris said. “It’s like I have nothing to lose. Either it comes in or it doesn’t go.”
Even after a tough loss, Zatores showed confidence and said he had a recipe for victory. With less than a month until the next Major – The Open at St Andrews – Zlatoris said he was glad he’ll be trying again soon.
“I’m not happy with second place,” he said. “Of course I try to make it possible. The comfort level is there, especially now that I know I can do it. I just have to wait my turn.”