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March 9, 2024

Will Zalatoris

Bay Hill, Florida, USA

Bay Hill Club and Lodge

Quick Quotes

Q. How would you assess the day?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, I played really good. You play 42 holes of bogey-free golf and you take it. Obviously, the finish wasn't what I wanted. That's just Bay Hill. I hit one bad tee shot on 15, and I'm basically half plugged, hitting a burning tee shot in there. Then, I hit a pretty low driver in there onto 18 and same thing, it plugs again. I think I counted, it's my fourth year here, I've had 19 plugged balls here, so, needless to say, the bunkers aren't really my favorite here. I putted great. I drove it pretty good for the most part. Yeah, I'm still in the ballgame, as frustrating as it is to finish up that way.

Q. You keep like a tally of plugged balls for everywhere you play?

WILL ZALATORIS: Here, yes. So do a lot of guys here, yeah.

Q. Have the last few weeks been any remarkable improvement like physically for you? Is there things that you weren't able to do closer to surgery and rehab and stuff that you are able to do now?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, the speed's up, for sure. I think that's the one thing that's nice. I'm driving it the best I ever have. I'm rolling it really nice. You're putting on glass and the wind's blowing 30, you're just going to hit some putts that just are going to snipe off. I had a couple that got blown in today. That's just Bay Hill.

Q. You haven't played much golf over the last 18 months. Is there anything about getting back into contention you've had to get used to again?

WILL ZALATORIS: No, I think it's something I've always wanted to be my entire career, it's always something that I want to be, is to play with the best in the world and play on these golf courses that have a lot of history, so I think that it's something I've always wanted to do. Yeah, the nerves, I would probably say at Riv were pretty fresh and welcomed, and this week it's just a beast. I played my last, I don't know what was it, six holes in 4-over par, and I'm one or two back. So, that's just, like I said, that's just Bay Hill. It's a different mindset than any other week. Most of the time whenever you're out here or out on TOUR, you got to go out and shoot a low one. Hideki shoots 62 and runs the tables and wins out here. You shoot 68 on Sunday, you got a chance to win.

Q. Rory was talking about how fine the line is on this golf course, to your point about only missing one drive. Does that make it easier or harder if you're trying to come from behind on a Sunday?

WILL ZALATORIS: Personally, I think it makes it easier, just because you hit good golf shots, you're going to get rewarded. You hit some mediocre golf shots, you're going to get penalized real quick. Like the shot I had on 15, just, I pushed it six yards right of where I was looking and I've got a pseudo-plugged lie for a second shot hitting an 8-iron. That's just Bay Hill. You kind of take what it gives you. You get away making a bunch of 15-footers today, you kind of get away with it and tip your cap. I think I was 5-under through 11 or 12 or whatever it was. You take that stretch and you kind of spread it out over the last 36 holes, I probably wouldn't be as disappointed. Playing great golf. I really hit three bad shots that cost me five shots.

Q. Is there a turning point in your game earlier this year, maybe it was Riviera or some point before that, where you started to feel like now it's starting to pay off? You say you're playing great golf, can you point to any moment or tournament?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, I would probably say the second round at Sony. Even though I was needed to shoot a really low score, just being able to shoot the scores and play in tough conditions and be able to shoot a couple under. Then Palm Springs it was like playing in a dome, so shooting 16-, 17-under or whatever it is, and you're just kind of happy -- it's good to shoot those scores whenever you can.

Q. Wind's supposed to lay down a bit tomorrow, cooler temperatures. What are you expecting from this golf course on this final day?

WILL ZALATORIS: You know, what's funny is we got the notification that they didn't roll last night and didn't roll this morning, but when there's no grass on the greens it kind of doesn't matter. It's just going to be hard. That's just Bay Hill. It's just such a beast. It tests your patience more than any other PGA TOUR event that you have. In general, just stay patient and run the tables tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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