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April 5, 2021

Will Zalatoris

Augusta, Georgia, USA

Quick Quotes

Q. First time here. What are your impressions?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, it's obviously amazing. Really cool experience. 17 months ago I didn't even have status on the Korn Ferry TOUR, so kind of cool to think back on all the craziness that's happened over the last year and a half, and it's led to me to be here. Obviously a lot of gratitude.

Q. Must be nice being here in a little bit of a different environment?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, it's fun. Having the patrons back here -- obviously, I wasn't here in November, but I know a lot of guys said it was just an out-of-body experience being here because obviously the patrons are what makes this tournament so much fun, and obviously even on a Monday you've got patrons screaming at you saying, "Skip it on 16, skip it on 16." It's a lot of fun. Like I said, a lot of pinch-me moments.

Q. Have you tried to skip it?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, unsuccessfully, so we'll have to work on that over the next couple days.

Q. This is your first time out here today?

WILL ZALATORIS: No, it wasn't. I've played here a few times. But obviously seeing it in this condition, it's really cool, especially on a Monday to see that greens get that purplish baked outlook to them. Balls are bouncing like crazy, so it'll be fun to see.

Q. Are you looking forward to playing in your first Masters?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, like I said, I think it's just over the last year and a half, the fact that I'm here after not having status on the Korn Ferry TOUR, then working all last year to get my card and then COVID hits and you've got four months off, and I still found a way to make my way out to the PGA TOUR and to be here, so it's really cool.

Q. Because it's been such a crazy experience the past 17 months, does it make you more grateful to be here?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, like I said, it's a lot of gratitude. If you would have told me I was going to be here a year ago sitting in the middle of COVID and told me my season was going to go from one season to two seasons on the Korn Ferry -- obviously, every player thinks they can accomplish anything they put their mind to, but at the same time it's pretty cool.

Q. How's it been working with Troy Denton and Josh Gregory?

WILL ZALATORIS: It's been great. I've worked with them for a couple of years, and I hate giving the same monotonous answer of just sticking to the process, but we've had the same practice routine for two years, and we haven't deviated from it, and there's obviously no reason to. When I say stick to the process, it's obviously been magical.

Q. Is he here?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, he's here, so I'll go see him in a little bit.

Q. How have you seen your game develop?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, I think working with him -- I joke that two hours with him feels like four hours by yourself because it's quick, it's a lot of -- we throw a lot in there in two hours, and I think the randomized practice around the greens is what's really helped me with my short game in particular.

I did a lot of block work, where just sitting on a training station with alignment sticks. Especially here, you've got to have a lot of imagination, and I think that's really been the biggest difference in my game, and it's led to having success at the Open, where having a lot of putts from 12 feet that you're actually being a little bit defensive on making sure that you're not running one six feet by.

Like I said, the creativity around the greens has really helped, too, and I think that's what's carried over or why I've been successful so quickly to the PGA TOUR from the Korn Ferry.

Q. Being out here today, did you see anything that you're specifically keying in on?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, I think it's the same thing you hear guys say every year. You just can't believe how high some of the lines are on putts. You look at a putt and you think it's a cup out, and you easily could have played a foot. And I think just getting comfortable with playing putts that high and that soft is something you just have to be very conscious of.

Q. Any trouble out there that you have to be aware of?

WILL ZALATORIS: Thankfully, it's Monday, so I think rinsing two on 16 trying to skip it, I think we might need to fix that over the next couple days.

Q. Was your first time here with your college team?

WILL ZALATORIS: It was, yeah, when I went to Wake Forest, Logan Jackson hosted us. A magical experience.

Q. What was your biggest fondest memory from that day?

WILL ZALATORIS: I think there's a million of them on the golf course, but I think a funny one would actually be when we had breakfast inside, I totally forgot there's no menu, and when asked what we would like for breakfast and I was the first one to go, I was cracking up laughing because I ordered a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich and not thinking anything of it and everyone else ordered the same thing because they totally didn't realize that, either. I was kind of laughing because I was like, man, you're at Augusta National, what are you doing? But it was a really good sandwich, obviously.

But yeah, it was kind of cool to play with the team, and obviously with Mr. Jackson, too, and just being able to take it all in. Like obviously this week we're working, but being able to stand on the bridge on 12 and kind of sit there for a couple minutes and look back, I think that's something I'll never forget.

Q. What year was that with Wake?


Q. Who is here with you on the trip personally?

WILL ZALATORIS: I've got basically my whole family, got mom and dad, girlfriend and her mom. It'll be fun. Obviously, they've -- I was joking about it with Caitlin, my girlfriend, that this beats playing Monday qualifiers in Evansville, Indiana, for the Korn Ferry TOUR.

Like I said, that's why I kind of have that same attitude of just kind of appreciating it more and more every step of the way, going from Monday qualifiers and shooting 67 and going home to now being able to come out here and play. It's a lot of gratitude.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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