Will Zalatoris’ fiancée asked an innocent question — and committed a golf no-no
You’ve asked the question. It’s been asked of you. And it is with that that Caitlin Sellers asked her fiance, Will Zalatoris, on Thursday about his weekend plans.
To set this up, Zalatoris shot a one-over par 71 on Thursday during his first round at the FedEx St. Jude Championship. He was nine strokes behind leaders J.J. Spaun and Si Woo Kim. He had just 18 holes to make a move to survive the cut.
And Zalatoris and Sellers talked Thursday night.
“I kind of had a hilarious conversation with my fiancee about it because she asked me on Thursday night what my plans were if I didn’t make the weekend,” Zalatoris said Saturday night.
“She meant that in all good fun.”
Oh boy. You know the issue here. You can ask the question, and you can be asked it, but tread carefully if you ask a pro golfer what they may be doing on Saturday and Sunday when they’re working on Thursday and Friday in hopes of working more on the weekend.
A reporter then asked a key follow-up question.
“What answer did you give her?”
“I told her let’s cross that bridge when we get there,” Zalatoris said.
This is a golf site, not a marriage one, but that was handled like a pro. The exchange may have even been motivational. Hours after the conversation, Zalatoris shot a seven-under 63 during Friday’s second round, which tied for the lowest score of the day, and, yes, he moved on to the weekend. On Saturday, Zalatoris shot a five-under 65, and he entered Sunday’s final round two shots back of the lead.
Ahead of the St. Jude, Zalatoris has had a notable two-plus-year stretch on the PGA Tour, and a notable past week. Starting with the U.S. Open in 2020, the 25-year-old has compiled a whopping 16 top 10s, including six in the majors, and he’s moved to No. 14 in the world. Still, he’s without a win, and so, somewhat surprisingly, he split with his longtime caddie, Ryan Goble, between the second and third rounds of last week’s Wyndham Championship as the near-misses continued to pile up.
Going forward, Joel Stock will be on Zalatoris’ bag, and if you’re looking what may have been the difference between Thursday’s 71 and Friday’s 63, it may have been this: On Thursday, Zalatoris was reading his own putts; on Friday and Saturday, Stock and Zalatoris were both reading them.
“You know, I think it was honestly just we’re still trying to figure each other out a little bit,” Zalatoris said. “Typically a really good green reader, but it think it’s — you know, we haven’t really had different reads on any putts so far; it’s really just been having the confirmation that we got the right read and if it goes in, it goes in, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. But I think the confirmation part is the part that’s really helped.”