FedEx Cup leader Will Zalatoris withdraws from BMW Championship with injury
Last week’s winner was leading the FedEx Cup standings coming into the week and was trading the top spot in the projected standings with Scottie Scheffler through the first two rounds. Zalatoris will now earn no points this week, and unless Scheffler finishes outside the top 25 this week, Zalatoris will fall at least to second in the standings, but can drop no further than third. The standings after this week translate directly into the starting position for next week’s Tour Championship — instead of starting with a two-shot lead, Zalatoris will be either two or three shots back, if he’s able to play in the season finale.
The injury occurred early Saturday. After playing his second at the fourth hole onto the back fringe from Wilmington Country Club’s deep rough, Zalatoris noticeably limped up the fairway before sitting down off the back of the green and trying to stretch out.
A PGA Tour rules official told Zalatoris he was OK to wait a few minutes before hitting his birdie putt, but he ultimately decided to go ahead and play out the hole, making par.
From there, Zalatoris and playing partner Emiliano Grillo waited around 15 minutes on the fifth tee, even letting the group behind them play through, for a PGA Tour physiotherapist to arrive and give treatment to Zalatoris’ back and left hip area. During the wait, Zalatoris appeared to be discussing scenarios for the FedEx Cup and next week’s Tour Championship with his caddie and a PGA Tour rules official.
Even after working with the trainer for several minutes, Zalatoris determined the issue was too much and turned in his card, withdrawing from the tournament. He was 4-under for the tournament and 1-under for the day after making birdie on the third hole.
In a statement released by the PGA Tour, Zalatoris’ manager, Allen Hobbs, confirmed the World No. 9 still planned on playing the the Tour Championship next week.
“Will tweaked his lower back during a shot on the 3rd hole today,” Hobbs said. “After getting it worked on and the pain not subsiding, he felt that it was best to withdraw from the BMW Championship so he can work with his trainer the next few days to get the inflammation to calm down. Will looks forward to playing next week in Atlanta.”
The Golf Channel broadcast team said Zalatoris declined an interview request.