Two appearances at the Farmers Insurance Open have resulted in two top-10s for Will Zalatoris. He debuted at Torrey Pines in 2021 with a T-7th finish. He opened with 4-under 68 at the North course and closed at the South with 1-under 71, 70, and 71 amidst tough conditions in La Jolla.
Zalatoris missed the cut at the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines South. He got back on the horse at the 2022 Farmers by firing 69, 68 (North), 65, and 72 to reach 15-under. That total would have won every year but once since 2012, but Luke List vaulted 18 spots up the leaderboard with a Sunday 66 to force a playoff where he beat Zalatoris on the first extra hole.
Zalatoris’ first PGA Tour victory wasn’t meant to be that day, but he finally got in the winner’s circle last summer at the FedEx St. Jude Championship.
His win in Memphis was the last event he completed in 2022. The next week, Zalatoris withdrew from the BMW Championship due to a back injury.
The Wake Forest alum’s first start of 2023 produced a solid T-11th finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He followed it up by making the cut at The American Express where he was T-36th and finished ahead of some big names.
It will be interesting to see how he performs playing for the second week in a row, particularly in cooler conditions with thick rough.
It may not be the week to burn Zalatoris in a one-and-done league, but past history here and improving health are reasons to like him.
Last season, he led the PGA Tour in strokes gained approach per round (1.063) and SG tee to green (1.77). Zalatoris was 13th in driving distance (314.7) and 18th in bounce back percentage (25.82%).