AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Willy has mastered the art of putting.
Will Zalatoris may resemble Happy Gilmore’s caddie, but on Friday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, he channeled Adam Sandler’s main character.
Zalatoris caught fire with the flatstick after making nothing outside of 6 feet for the first 15 holes of his final pool-play match against Viktor Hovland. Down the stretch, he sank four critical birdie putts:
No. 16: 11 feet, 10 inches.
No. 18: 11 feet, 9 inches.
First playoff hole: 10 feet, 5 inches.
9 feet, 9 inches for the second playoff hole.
Zalatoris was able to hold on for a 1-up victory against Hovland in regulation and then clip the Norwegian in extra holes to progress to Saturday’s Round of 16 at Austin Country Club thanks to those clutch makes, which were all dead in the throat and followed by massive fist pumps.
“When you putt as well as I did today, every putt I hit looked like it was going in or on the verge of going in,” Zalatoris said. “So, I was pretty pleased with how I returned after yesterday. I didn’t think I rolled it very nicely…. Continue to do what we’re doing, and hopefully we’ll see more of this.”
After The Players, Zalatoris changed putters, preserving the arm-lock method but switching to a more face-balanced head.
“That’s basically all there is to it,” Zalatoris added. “I’m just making sure my time and routine are consistent, and aim, ball, go.” It’s great to see it stand up so well in the first week.”
Zalatoris will face Kevin Na in the first round of the knockout round, so perhaps he’ll learn how to walk putts in next.
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