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April 8, 2022

Will Zalatoris

Augusta, Georgia, USA

Quick Quotes

Q. Talk about the wind a little bit.

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, this is a little different because it's going from 8 to 10 to about 25 in a blink. We were waiting out a lot of shots today. I had to stay super patient and make sure we got the right wind. I mean, it's -- you know, you get one that might be a little down or a little into, and you could be off by 20 yards.

So it's brutal out there. Obviously, this is Augusta, and you know that it's a fight.

Q. Is there one shot in particular, to speak to that point, that you waited on and got it right?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, it really doesn't make that big of a difference off 10 tee, but I mean, I might have -- my hat almost blew off. Seriously, I knew I could get 3-wood around the corner and get it down that hill, but all of a sudden if I catch a little gust, I might have 240 in instead of 180. So it's a grind.

Even 12 today, Ryan told me good shot, and I landed it in the back pine straw. I'm hitting a 9-iron, and you don't really hear that.

So it's brutal. You've just got to stay patient. Any time you feel you might have a birdie look and you walk off with par, you still need to be happy.

Q. Are you satisfied with an even-par round of golf?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, I'll take that today. This is by far the toughest day I've seen out here. Granted I'm not a longtime veteran, but this is a grind.

Q. Will, I think five people have hit the 11th green in regulation. Can you talk about the challenge of that hole playing pretty much straight into the wind?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, 520 uphill off the tee, and I'm one of the longest guys out here, and I ripped 4-iron and barely got it just short right. I had a chip that I easily could have chipped in the water.

So the changes they made to 11, I love it. Off the tee is pretty wide, but you just barely get out of position, and you've got that tree in your way. You're looking at 5 easy, maybe 6.

Like I said, that chip I had, that was the spot to miss it, and I still could have chipped it in the water considering it was downwind.

Q. Second shot were you aiming at the green or aiming right of the green?

WILL ZALATORIS: No. Even yesterday, even though I made birdie, I was looking right edge of the green. Tomorrow I'm sure they'll have it in that middle right section. That was probably the toughest one considering the changes that they've made.

I mean, that hole, I bet you that hole plays in for 6, for 7 throughout the week. It's just brutal.

Q. With what you did last year on the weekend, will that help you this weekend?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, definitely. Obviously, I know I can do it. It doesn't look like I'm too far out of it, but like I said, tomorrow is supposed to be a little bit colder and will keep the wind up. You've just got to stay patient. This isn't -- I don't know what if you're asking me what the winning score's going to be, but if you have two more days of this, it's not going to be double digits.

Q. Last year no fans. A little different for you this year, isn't it?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, they're out there rooting for you. It's a lot of fun, and obviously this place is pretty special when the patrons are clapping for you walking up to the tee. So it's pretty cool.

Q. You went for it there on 15. Why?

WILL ZALATORIS: I think I had 215. I was trying to hit it basically in the fat part of the green or maybe in that right bunker. I really was about two yards from having a really simple chip. Welcome to Augusta. I've got basically 35 yards for eagle, and I had to make a ten-footer for par.

Q. Will, what can you say about Tiger just being here, playing well?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, it's awesome. Yesterday I was walking off 6, and you see people 15 deep around 16 when he made birdie, and he gives a little fist pump. I mean, I'm used to seeing that on TV. Obviously seeing it in person is pretty cool. People always talk about he moves the needle, but he is the needle.

This is the first time for me when I've been in a field where I've been able to see it firsthand, and it's incredible. It's really cool.

Q. In your mind, what makes Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods?

WILL ZALATORIS: I mean, I could give you 25 accolades that he has, and there's still more. Obviously he's won here five times. He's got 15 majors. He's won 82 times. He's the greatest of all time. Obviously considering that he's come back after what he's had and he's playing this amount of golf, you could argue this is probably his best accomplishment. I mean, it's pretty incredible.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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