Will Zalatoris channeled his inner Stephen Curry Sunday afternoon at the FedEx St. Jude Championship as he rolled in a 10-footer on the 72nd hole that would ultimately get him into a playoff with Sepp Straka.
After winning his fourth NBA championship, but first NBA Finals MVP, earlier this summer, Curry simply asked, “What they gonna say now?”
Zalatoris, whose putting stroke is often a topic of conversation in the golf world, shouted the same line after making what was one of the biggest putts of his career.
The first-time Tour winner spoke after his round about his inspiration from Curry.
“You know, I'm a big Warriors fan and obviously Steph, he's a Cal club guy, he's a pretty big inspiration obviously,” Zalatoris said. “I follow the Warriors like crazy and when he said that, it kind of related to kind of my journey so far. So being that close and then kind of being written off here and there and then obviously finally pulling it off, it was – I actually can't believe I said that. At least it wasn't something worse.”
Zalatoris, who will turn 26 on Tuesday, has been the king of close calls early in his Tour career.
Just this season, Zalatoris has three high-profile runner-up finishes: the Farmers Insurance Open, PGA Championship and U.S. Open (T-2). He lost to Justin Thomas in a playoff at the PGA and came up short at Brookline just a few weeks later as he missed a putt to force a playoff with Matt Fitzpatrick.
Perhaps the key for the Wake Forest product was mindset as much as anything.
When asked after his first win whether he ever took a single moment to feel sorry for himself about all the close calls, he simply responded, “no.”