A freshman at Wake Forest, Zalatoris was the only player under par Monday at Riviera Country Club and beat a field of 14 top collegiate players. He finished five shots ahead of Arizona's George Cunningham.
"I'm excited," Zalatoris said. "I'm really not even nervous about it. I'm only 18 and I'm learning. I'm enjoying the moment for sure."
Zalatoris won the U.S. Junior Amateur last summer and also captured the 2014 Texas State Amateur. This will mark the first PGA Tour start of his career.
"I'm just going to enjoy myself and be in the moment," he said. "I'm here to play golf, not think about winning the tournament. It's my first PGA Tour event, so I'll see how my game stands up and we'll go from there."
In an unprecedented event, college players teamed with one professional and two amateurs from their university. While the collegians played their own ball in a de facto 14-for-1 qualifier, the other three players in each group played a best-ball tournament where a $50,000 donation was awarded for first place. The Oregon team led by Casey Martin took top honors, defeating Ryan Palmer's Texas A&M squad by one shot.