After making a clutch par putt on TPC Southwind’s 18th green on Sunday, Will Zalatoris was fired up.
Just as his Titleist Pro V1 fell over the front lip of the cup, the 25-year-old pumped his fist and screamed in celebration.
“What are they gonna say now!” he yelled. “Let’s go!”
Zalatoris’ clutch save proved to be monumental, helping him force a playoff with Sepp Straka, which he won in three holes for his first PGA Tour victory.
“It’s kind of hard to say ‘about time’ when it’s your second year on Tour,” Zalatoris said. “But about time.”
It was an eventful day for the PGA Tour sophomore. From his clutch save on 18 to a series of wild bounces in the playoff to finally breaking through for a win, Sunday was anything but ordinary.
The moment that generated the most buzz though? Zalatoris letting out that epic scream as he drained the biggest putt of his young career. And, as it turns out, the California native drew inspiration for the cry from another Bay Area superstar.
Steph Curry let out the same scream earlier this summer after leading the Warriors to yet another NBA championship. Zalatoris was watching as the Dubs captured the title, and he didn’t forget Curry’s celebratory scream.
“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.”
Zalatoris has often been close to victory early on his career, but a balky putter has kept him from glory. On Sunday, that wasn’t the case. He holed putts from 10, 14 and 7 feet over his final four holes (18 plus three playoff holes) to secure the victory — and silence the naysayers.
“So being that close and then kind of being written off here and there and then obviously finally pulling off, it was — I actually can’t believe I said that actually,” he said. “At least it wasn’t something worse.”