Will Zalatoris will miss the Tour Championship and next month’s Presidents Cup after doctors determined that he has two herniated disks in his back.
Entering the season finale at No. 3 in the points standings, Zalatoris will drop to 30th place in the FedExCup and receive $500,000 in bonus money. The 26-year-old was coming off his first Tour victory at the playoff opener in Memphis, which vaulted him to No. 1 in the points standings and potentially put him in line for the $18 million first-place prize.
Zalatoris will not be replaced in the field at East Lake, and the starting strokes for the remaining 29 players will not be affected.
Now ranked ninth in the world, Zalatoris was in contention through 36 holes of the BMW Championship but injured his back while hitting his tee shot early in the third round Saturday at Wilmington Country Club. He played another hole and received treatment from the on-site physiotherapist, but he determined that he couldn’t play through the pain and withdrew. He was hopeful to play in the Tour’s season-ender until doctors determined the extent of his injury.
It was the second withdrawal of his career, after he also pulled out of the 2021 Open because of a back issue.
In a statement, Zalatoris’ agent, Allen Hobbs, said that Zalatoris “is fully focused on getting healthy and back onto the course as soon as he is able.” There was no immediate timetable for his return.
Though he didn’t qualify automatically for the U.S. Presidents Cup team, Zalatoris ranked seventh in the standings and was a virtual lock to compete next month in his first team competition at Quail Hollow.