Will Zalatoris described it as a joke, so we’ll tell it as such.
The setup goes like this. On the 217-yard, par-3 11th on the South Course at Torrey Pines, during Friday’s third round of the Farmers Insurance Open, Zalatoris hit his tee shot left, he yelled at himself three times, and the ball settled on the downslope of a greenside bunker, about a yard from the sand, in gnarly rough. “Oh man, that is going to be brutal,” analyst Curt Byrum said on the Golf Channel broadcast. “Brutal, trying to get that ball up and down.”
From there, the punchline.
Zalatoris, after two practice swings, and with his left foot in the bunker and his right in the cabbage, swung. OK, laugh. He skipped his ball into the upslope on the other side of the bunker, it bounced a few times — and rolled to 4 inches.
And finally the reactions. First from the comedian.
“The one on 11 was just kind of a joke,” Zalatoris said. “That’s a shot that you’re having an up-and-down contest with your buddies, you’re just trying to get it somewhere on the green and just got away with it.”
And what did his audience think? First his playing partners. After the shot, which he cleaned up for a par three, on his way to a share of the third-round lead, Zalatoris grabbed his putter, walked by Dustin Johnson and laughed. While it wasn’t clear what was said, Byrum, on the broadcast, had an idea.
“I think DJ looked at him there and said, Man, let’s see you do that again,” Byrum said.
The analysts themselves said as much, too.
Said Byrum: “This is unbelievable how good that is. You got to be kidding me. That is the best shot I’ve seen today.”
Said Nick Faldo: “Yeah, best of the week.”
Said Faldo later: “He’s too young to have a top 10 … but that might be number one.”