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April 10, 2022

Will Zalatoris

Augusta, Georgia, USA

Quick Quotes

Q. How would you kind of sum up your week, Will?

WILL ZALATORIS: I did a lot of good things. My wedge play was honestly deplorable, to put it mildly. It's something that I've been trying to improve on over the past year, and I've been seeing some results, but this week not so much. I think part of it was trying to judge the right winds, and every shot is another green out here.

Besides that, today honestly wasn't my best ball-striking day, but my short game saved me around the greens. Like I said, that's a massive confidence boost for me. Any time you're making -- I think I was maybe four out of five or something like that out of the bunkers today. I'm pretty pleased obviously with the result.

Q. You've had success here. Scottie looks like he is on his way to an easy victory. You guys are two of a lot of Texans that have seemed to play well. Any idea why?

WILL ZALATORIS: There's just been a pipeline out of Dallas. North Texas PGA is a really great junior series, and we've been playing together for 16 years now. On top of that, any given day back home there's a good chance that Scottie, Jordan or I are playing together.

Obviously, seeing Jordan is running 15 and obviously all of his success and obviously Scottie doing what he is doing, you have to go out and play good. We're competitive people by nature, and if one guy is beating us every day, you kind of want to get a little better.

I think it's really cool, especially seeing from NTPGA to Legend Junior Tour, just seeing the progression for all of us for 16 years now, but there's even more behind us that are coming up. So we're pretty fortunate.

Q. You mentioned playing against him in high school and Junior Golf. What was the first impression the first time you met him?

WILL ZALATORIS: Jordan or Scottie?

Q. Scottie.

WILL ZALATORIS: The kid had a great short game back then. He was a gamer. He wore pants to every tournament even if it was 110 degrees. He tried to be a professional at a young age, and obviously seeing what he is doing now, it's pretty cool on my part to see it.

Seeing us just do these little 18-hole junior events in the winter shooting 78, and obviously now scores are a little better and the courses are a little harder. So it's really cool seeing everything kind of come full circle, and obviously, the progression together for all three of us.

Q. How old do you think you would you have been --

WILL ZALATORIS: I was 9 when we first started off playing together.

Q. Can you kind of put into words what he has been doing the last couple of months here and obviously he did here this week?

WILL ZALATORIS: It's historic. He is playing the best golf in the world, and this is very reminiscent of Jordan in 2015. Any time he tees it up, he has a chance to win. There's no weaknesses in his game, and like I said, he is a guy that you may think he is out of a hole, and next thing you know -- I just saw him on 12 make a 10-footer to save par to keep the momentum going, and that was just -- that's the epitome of Scottie.

Q. He has been described as goofy. Was he goofy back when you were 9?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah. The part that's so funny is that you think No. 1 in the world, just because we've always grown up, you think of Tiger because Tiger was No. 1 in the world for all those years and the cold-blooded killer. Scottie is a guy where he will go home and he will go barbecue for a few days and not touch his clubs. He is one of those guys.

He is who he is, and that's something that I think is a really good compliment because he knows his game, he knows who he is, and he doesn't take anything too seriously. Goofy is an understatement to put it mildly.

Q. Is that probably one of the reasons he has been so successful --

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, he is a work horse too. He works as hard, if not the hardest, out of the anyone in the world, and obviously there's a reason why there's no weaknesses in his game.

I got to give a lot of credit to Randy Smith on top of that, basically tutoring him since he was a little kid. Any time you're at Royal Oaks during an off week, there's a pretty good chance you're going to see the two of them at least on the short game area or hitting balls on the back nine together.

Q. You putted really well. You talked about your short game this week. Any confidence going forward?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, definitely. I think the new putter is a good change. It's not a big change at all. It's just -- wow. (Crowd roar).

It's just a small change, but I know what I need to do. The first win is coming soon. Even though I haven't won in two years out here, I'm progressing at a very nice level, and just wait my turn.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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