2022 U.S. Open: Zalatoris eyes first major win after great third round


BROOKLINE, Mass. -- Will Zalatoris has played phenomenal in major championships over the last couple years, but he still hasn't won one of these tournaments.

Zalatoris has placed top eight or better in four of the last five major tournaments he's finished. He also was the runner up at the 2021 Masters and lost the PGA Championship in a playoff last month.

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His breakthrough could finally come Sunday at The Country Club when he enters the final round of the 2022 U.S. Open as the co-leader with Matt Fitzpatrick at 4-under par.

"This place is a beast. When I played during the Am in 2013 I said this was the hardest golf course that I had ever played," Zalatoris said. "It's just so easy to compound mistakes out here, which, of course, you can do that in major championships in general, but especially this one.

"I think the biggest thing for me tomorrow, obviously, there's a ton of major champions on this leaderboard, and by no means is the job done. Not even close. But just keep doing what I'm doing. Make sure I just get myself on the green as fast as I can or at least minimize the mistakes."

For most of Saturday's third round, it looked like Zalatoris was playing on a different course than the rest of the field.

The weather was not great. The temperature was in the low 60s and the wind was whipping around 15 mph. These less-than-ideal conditions played a factor, evidenced by just seven golfers shooting below par Saturday. The elements didn't slow down Zalatoris, who had the best score of the day at 3-under par.


"Yeah, that was brutal," Zalatoris said of the conditions. "When I made a mistake, I made sure I was on the fat side of the green or having room where I could maybe at least chip one up there to eight, 10 feet.

"I think it took a lot of discipline today. I mean, we didn't aim at a single flag, even with some wedges just because you really only have a foot or two to deal with on these greens in some situations. Normally, guys out here when they have wedges in their hand, they're firing at pins no matter what the situation was, but it's just a lot of patience and giving myself as many 15- to 25-footers as I could, and obviously, a couple happened to go in today, and it felt pretty good."

After bogeying four holes Friday, Zalatoris had only one Saturday, along with four birdies. 

Despite failing close out major tournaments in recent years, Zalatoris seems pretty confident in his game entering the most important round of his career so far.

"I think, especially coming off the PGA, it gave me a lot of belief and confidence that I belong in this situation.

"There's a difference in thinking it and then actually being in the situation and believing it. So I think that's probably the biggest change. I've put myself in this situation a few times in my career, and obviously have to go out and get it tomorrow."


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