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April 11, 2024

Will Zalatoris

Augusta, Georgia, USA

Quick Quotes

Q. Where you've been from a year ago, what's your level right now? How good do you feel?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, very pleased. That's the thing about this place, is that you get so much wind, so much swirling. I hit 10 great golf shots on the last two holes coming in. That's just part of what it is around this place. It's playing brutal but it's a lot of fun right now. The course was very fair. Even with everything that we've gone through.

Overall, yeah, very pleased.

Q. How much did you think about Thursday last year before your round today?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, a good bit. It just puts things into perspective. A year ago I could feel the disc slipping and I was kind of hiding it from everybody, including members of my team.

It's hard not to be grateful being here, but I'm even more grateful now.

Q. Did you hit balls on the range last year before your round?

WILL ZALATORIS: I did. Yeah, it was one swing. I was kind of battling it already, but it was just one swing that basically I knew exactly what I did.

Q. And you were flying home three or four hours later?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, not even that.

Q. Now that you've gone through the worst of the weather, how are you shaping up for tomorrow?

WILL ZALATORIS: I know tomorrow looks pretty windy too, so just got to be patient. Some guys are putting up some low scores. It's still out there.

I really played great today. Even though shooting 70, I'm very pleased with that score. When you see guys at 7 and 6, it's out there. You hit great golf shots, you're going to get rewarded.

It's a little bit of a patience game, especially Thursday and Friday this week with the wind and the weather this morning, and then Saturday and Sunday is obviously going to be where you can try to make up some ground.

Q. Are you surprised the scores are this low considering the forecast?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, but that's what Augusta National does. They know how to set up a golf course perfectly, and for weather like this, seeing scores at 7 and 6 is very, very good playing.

But like I said, if you hit great golf shots, you're going to have chances. I made plenty of birdies today. Would have liked to get a couple birdies on a few par-4s, but playing the par-5s and 5-under today, that is something that I have kind of struggled with here in my career, is I've typically played the par-4s great and the par-4s kind of mediocre, and that's where you make up ground here.

Q. That one swing on the range last year warming up, when did you feel you were in trouble?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, I felt the jar in my back and then the tingling down the legs and I knew immediately what it was. Literally just one 7-iron.

Q. Why are you so comfortable out here?

WILL ZALATORIS: I think it's just so special. Some people might have the pressure get to them. For me, what do you have to lose? We're out here trying -- we all want a green jacket. It's what we dream of.

I think this is the one major where we play the same golf course every single year, and the more I play it, the more comfortable I get, the more little details that you pick up on certain hole locations, the wind swirls around this place, and I'm finally getting to a point now where I feel like I'm able to figure out where the wind has kind of turned the corner a little bit.

Like I said, it's kind of taking the past experience and being able to take it in for your next round or the next year, and compared to the other three majors where you're changing venues every year. Like I said, on top of that, too, it's just special.

Q. You've been competing against Scottie basically your entire golfing life. What's the challenge with that in a major championship?

WILL ZALATORIS: Yeah, I would even kind of take it back to Jordan. Even Scottie, Jordan and I played junior events, and then my freshman year of college he wins the Masters.

What Scottie has always been, it's something that I always loved that Randy told him was -- Randy Smith, his coach, told him, was you don't want to be the best 15 year old. You want to be the best 25 year old. He's had that attitude his entire career.

It's very motivating. When he does something incredibly special like he's done over the past really two to three years, it makes me want to work even harder.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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