AT&T Byron Nelson Classic: Will Zalatoris hoping to make first win a home win

The Dallas resident feels TPC Craig Ranch is perfect for his game as he seeks an elusive first PGA Tour title.

Will Zalatoris has quickly established himself as one of the brightest young talents in the game.

And while others of his generation have yet to take their vast promise to the Majors stage, Zalatoris has managed that too.

In his first Major as a pro, he finished tied sixth in the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot.

And in 2021 he threatened to break the 42-year wait for a first-time winner at The Masters.

Zalatoris eventually finished runner-up to Hideki Matsuyama.

Since then he's added eighth in the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island and tied sixth on his return to Augusta National in last month's Masters.

It's a fantastic start to his career but something is still missing: a win.

Zalatoris hopes to put that right at this week's AT&T Byron Nelson Classic and it would be the perfect stage.

The 25-year-old makes Dallas his home and has played numerous rounds at TPC Craig Ranch which stages the tournament for the second year running. On his first crack last year he finished tied 17th.

In eight starts in 2022, Zalatoris has reeled off five top six finishes including another second place in the Farmers Insurance Open.

He talked about his form, his familiarity with the venue and his chase for a win after playing in Wednesday's pro-am.

On playing the course previously

"I played probably 35 rounds here at NTPGA events out here. It's amazing to see, the course is in the best shape I've ever seen it in the 15 years that I've been coming out playing here.

"I've got a lot of great memories obviously from coming out to this event as a junior golfer and getting hats signed by pros walking off of 18 and obviously it kind of comes full circle now that I'm obviously now on the inside of the ropes and not on the outside.

"So a lot of cool memories here and obviously a great venue, I think it's probably one of the top three or four events that fits my game, especially just with the length and the wind and like I said, this place is as pure as I've ever seen it so looking forward to a great week."

On why he has an advantage this week

"Obviously, for one, sleeping in my own bed always helps. But I love the fact that obviously it's a pretty big golf course, it's pretty long, you got to, the farther you hit it the easier this place gets.

"But playing in a lot of wind is something that I'm used to obviously living here since I was nine years old. So there's a lot of mid irons into this place which is the best part of my game and being one of the longer drivers on Tour really matches up really nicely.

"So being able to flight it and being able to control distance is huge here, just because even today is kind of a typical day and it's still blowing 10 to 15 and like I said I'm one of the longer guys out here.

"Just getting off of No. 9, I smoked a 3-wood from 265 and if I barely mishit that driver off the tee I can't get there.

"So that just shows you that added length that I've had over the last year, it's really helped, but on top of that the farther you hit it at this place, there's a few tee shots that I'll lift up my left heel and just absolutely hit it just as hard as I can, just because it's wide, but the rough out here is no joke either.

"And there's a few holes that you need to keep it front of you, but there's some holes out here that you can just send it."

On his form and the battle for a first win

"Yeah, I've been trending in the right direction, I've been playing some really nice golf over the last month, month and a half. I really have been putting nicely over the last, really going back to Match Play.

"I feel like every part of my game is really doing well and I just have to let the win get in the way. I've put in a lot of hard work with Josh Gregory and Troy Dunn, especially over the last month and a half, and it's paid off and just have to stay patient.

"Obviously watching guys like obviously Scottie (Scheffler) going on an absolute tear, he had to kind of wait his turn for a few years and then once the gates opened now it seems like every event he tees up he's winning.

"So just got to keep waiting my turn and I know I'm playing some really nice golf and I know my best golf's only ahead of me this year."

Will Zalatoris season stats

Strokes Gained: Off The Tee - 11th

Strokes Gained: Approach - 2nd

Strokes Gained: Around The Green - 90th

Stroke Gained: Tee To Green - 2nd

Strokes Gained: Putting - 170th

Driving Distance - 18th

READ MORE: Is it a smart move to play the week before a Major Championship?

Latest news