As Will Zalatoris sat in his press conference following the 85th Masters Tournament, he learned a very important thing about himself during his first Masters effort at Augusta National Golf Club.
“I think the fact that I'm frustrated I finished second in my third major says something, and the fact that I didn't let any moment really get to me, was really exciting," Zalatoris said. "And obviously my two majors as a pro, I finished sixth and runner-up. I know if I keep doing what I doing, I'm going to have a really good chance in the future."
But that’s always been Zalatoris, the hardworking, overachieving and disciplined golfer that earned his way from Monday qualifiers on the Korn Ferry Tour to a special temporary exemption on the PGA Tour to runner-up at The Masters.
All in a 17-month span.
“He’s prepared his whole life for this moment. And he’s ready for this moment. … This will be the first of many times he’ll be here. He hasn’t been overwhelmed by the moment all week so this doesn’t surprise me,” said Josh Gregory, Zalatoris’ short game coach and former Augusta State golf coach.
As frustrated as Zalatoris was of falling just one stroke short of tying this year’s champion, Hideki Matsuyama, he also appreciated what he had accomplished.
“Absolute dream. To be in this situation, I’ve been dreaming about it for 20 years,” Zalatoris said. “... It was a lot of fun, obviously, hearing a lot of the patrons over the last -- especially the last couple days, saying my name, you know, cheering me on on every single hole between every single shot. It was really special.”