Will Zalatoris’ first career start at the PGA Championship didn’t go as planned on Thursday.
The 24-year-old opened with two bogeys in his first four holes at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island in South Carolina.
Yet on the par-4 sixth, Zalatoris more than made up for his stumble out of the gate — and may have hit the shot of the day in the process.
Zalatoris, from 119 yards out, expertly spun his approach shot back and in for an eagle to bring him to even par on the day.
Zalatoris backed that eagle up with a birdie on the par-5 seventh, too, after he hit that green in two to set up an easy two-putt and get him to 1-under par on his opening nine. He finished the day with a 71, and sits four back of leader Corey Conners.
Zalatoris has had a tremendous rookie season so far this year, especially at the major championships. He finished T6 at the rescheduled U.S. Open in September, and then finished runner-up at the Masters Tournament behind Hideki Matsuyama last month at Augusta National. Zalatoris has six top-10 finishes already this season, and finished T17 last week at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
While it’s still early, it’s safe to say that Zalatoris’ tough start is well behind him.
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