We should be seeing a lot more of Will Zalatoris on the PGA Tour.
Entering the Bermuda Championship, the 24-year-old Wake Forest product needed just three points to achieve special temporary membership. He cliched the designation by making the cut on Friday and then made things official Sunday with a closing 68, T-16 finish and 59 FedExCup points.
“Yeah, it’s exciting,” Zalatoris said. “I thought I had a pretty good chance of it in Vegas. Obviously a couple points short. I’m glad I got it done in one week. If I kind of let that wander a little bit, it wouldn’t have been fun.”
Zalatoris is currently the leader on the Korn Ferry Tour points list, which will run until next August because of schedule changes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. He has a win and 10 top-10s in 16 starts this season. However, he also has made five starts on the PGA Tour this fall with three finishes of T-8 or better, including a share of sixth at the U.S. Open, which he qualified for through his standing on the KFT.
With special temporary membership, Zalatoris will be afforded unlimited sponsor exemptions for the remainder of the 2020-21 Tour season. Should he earn the equivalent of No. 125 in FedExCup points this season, he would earn full status for the 2021-22 season. Two seasons ago, No. 125 earned 376 points.
Zalatoris plans to Monday qualify for two more events this fall, at Mayakoba and RSM, unless he receives sponsor invites into them.
Of course, if he hangs on to the KFT’s top spot come next summer, he’ll achieve the same, plus an invite into The Players in 2022. (Zalatoris’ roommate, Davis Riley, is third in KFT points and has two wins, one shy of a battlefield promotion.)
Zalatoris, who is at 334 points after this week, will certainly have a decision to make come February, when the KFT season resumes. Either way, he has two great chances to earn a permanent Tour card next year.
“It’s hard not to think about it,” Zalatoris said earlier this week in Bermuda when asked about his points chase, “but the main thing is I want to keep playing as much as I can and keep building rhythm.”