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August 17, 2022

Will Zalatoris

Wilmington, Delaware, USA

Wilmington Country Club

Quick Quotes

JOHN BUSH: We're joined by Will Zalatoris fresh off his win last week in Memphis. Talk a little bit first of all about that win at the St. Jude.

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, I played well there last year. I had some pretty good vibes going in. Obviously there was a lot going on.

I think the way I did it was very vindicating for sure. Hats off to Sepp; I felt like I had him on the ropes a few times, and how the 11th hole played out you just have to get good breaks like that, or I guess the third playoff hole. If I had known that my ball was basically unplayable, I would have had to go and hit first and apply the pressure to him, and I ended up thinking I might have a chance to play it and the crowd's reaction made it look like the ball had hopped off the rocks and was just barely in the rough and had kind of an easy up-and-down and it kind of forced his hand to go at it.

My ball could have easily just done what his did and his ball could have easily done what mine did. Winning requires a little luck every now and again, and very fortunate obviously to get my first win.

JOHN BUSH: Curious some of the texts you may have received from people about that shot that you were thinking about hitting. Anything interesting?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, everyone's -- kind of the resounding texts that I got were basically everyone was screaming at the TV not to hit that shot. It's tough because you're 20 feet from the hole and all I've got to do is move it a foot forward, and I basically will win the golf tournament unless I do something silly. Josh Gregory had a hilarious line; he said, all you had to do was move the ball a foot, and hopefully it's forward, and if it's backwards you lose the golf tournament.

Yeah, I knew for sure that I wasn't going to play it, but I just wanted to make sure considering I was that close that -- that close to the hole that I was not giving up an easy opportunity.

Q. You come into the week first in the FedExCup standings now; do you feel any different in that in terms of you've got maybe a target on your back?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yes and no. There's so much golf ahead of us. That's the thing is that of course I would love to obviously hold my position going into next week and hold a two-shot lead, but we've got the best players in the world here. Just because I won last week doesn't mean it makes this any easier, so I've got to go back out there and do it again.

Q. Going back to that shot on the rocks, as a competitor, at the end of the day, even the evening, how much did you want to go back and try that shot?

WILL ZALATORIS: So we had a flight out. I was very much wanting to go back and hit it after everything was done, but I had to get going. But you can go ahead for certain and assume that if I'm at Memphis next year, I will be 100 percent trying to pull that shot off, but I did see the video of someone trying to pull it off and hit it in the water, which if I was a betting man, I'd put a lot of money that that's probably what would have ended up happening.

Q. Here at Wilmington Country Club, you've just played nine holes in the pro-am. I'm assuming you've seen the whole golf course. Your thoughts on the venue?

WILL ZALATORIS: Incredible. I've never been here before. This is my first time in Delaware. This is a big-boy golf course, 7,500 yards. All three of the par-5s are basically not reachable. Huge, sloping greens.

If I were to design a golf course, this is probably how I would design it for me. So I'm very excited. Obviously my first time around this place.

But the other part, too, is what an incredible buildout on the last five, six holes. This is going to be a really fun experience coming down the stretch, obviously.

Q. Going back to last week, Joel Stock, first week on the bag. Can you talk about if you could the benefits that he brought to you to help you get that victory?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, it's amazing how well we gelled. I've joked with him that he can only go downhill from here. The part that he did such a great job of, especially on Sunday, is just keeping me in the moment, just telling me to focus on my breathing, and then at times when things got a little tense he'd pull out some of his classic dad jokes to kind of make me laugh. He did just an amazing job, especially considering that Monday was our first day together. Hats off to him going down the stretch.

Being able to be in the moment and just tell me, hey, this is the club, commit to this shot, considering we've only been together for that short amount of time was incredible.

I can't obviously thank him enough. He's been exceptionally involved and he's picked everyone who's around me's brains about my game to try to make it better, and honestly, even though we won our first week, we're still adjusting. There's still things that we need to do just a little bit better here and there, and that's the beauty of this game.

Q. Once you have a victory, it's pretty hectic the few days after that. What's that been like for you given that it was your birthday yesterday? What's the last few days been like for you?

WILL ZALATORIS: It's been a little busy. Obviously if you've seen the news we've had a busy couple days.

Yeah, the support has been unreal. The support I got in Memphis, as well, was incredibly special. I'm not a Memphis kid, but I sure felt like it on the weekend.

I think the beauty of this is that I've got to get right back on the horse and keep playing. Kind of like I said, it hasn't really sunk in, and it probably won't sink in until after East Lake where I'll be able to properly reflect and sit back and kind of think back on all the moments that were game changing. Being 2-over par through nine holes is one thing where I basically told Joel, when I three-putted 9 for double, I just said, hey, I'm not worried, I've had some pretty bad Thursdays this year and it's something I need to get better about. But I've played really well on the weekend, and let's just keep this going. To be 2-over from there and play my next 63 holes in 17-under is a pretty cool way to do it.

Q. Can you share with us how does Will Zalatoris celebrate a victory and a birthday within a couple of days?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, well, yesterday I was sitting through meetings all day, but we kind of had everyone just hang out and talk and just kind of reflect a little bit over a couple cocktails. But the proper celebration is obviously going to be coming in about a week and a half.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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