I’ve just watched Will Zalatoris’ press conference at Pebble Beach and was as impressed with him as everyone is at his statistics. On Monday he broke into the Top 50 in the World Rankings and has locked in his card to play on the PGA Tour for next year. He really captured everyone’s imagination when he tied 6th at last year’s US Open. But he is one of the most dominant players in the world at the moment. Since 2020 he’s had 14 top 10s across multiple tours including a win on the Korn Ferry Tour.
He currently has a scoring average of 69.5, making him 6th on the PGA Tour and 12th in driving distance, At 6ft 4 he has a big swing arc generating a lot of speed with unusual technique – he has closed shoulders and open hips at impact.
He was part of the Walker Cup team that included Cameron Champ and major winner Collin Morikawa, and at 24 he is clearly catching them up. He credits playing alongside his friends Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth as a junior for motivating his own improvement. When Jordan, who is 3 years older, turned up “it was here we go, what is he going to do, he was ridiculous”. He was a freshman at Wake Forest when Spieth won the Masters in 2015 and it motivated him to play better.
But it was the influence of another golfing legend that helped shape him in his childhood. His father was a member at Cal Club in his home city of San Fransisco and started Will playing and Ken Venturi took an interest in Will’s game. The 1964 US Open champion would stay and watch him hit balls and he told Will’s father “this boy can play. Your job is to stay out of the way”. And Will’s father has never attended any of his lessons with his coaches Josh and Troy.
Jordan Spieth observes that Will isn’t afraid of going low. There seems to be a huge mental strength there, patience. At the moment he says he is focussing on learning his golf game and taking opportunities to get better. Good golf takes care of a lot of things he says. Here is his swing in slow motion.