Will Zalatoris finds groove with new caddie, notches second straight sub-66 round

Will Zalatoris finds groove with new caddie, notches second straight sub-66 round
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A change in caddie can be a career-changing move, for better or worse, but it seems Will Zalatoris needed approximately one round to establish on-course trust with veteran looper Joel Stock.

No. 12 in the season standings, Zalatoris opened the FedEx St. Jude Championship with a 1-over 71, including two bogeys and a double bogey. It was a round he described as “the worst luck I think I’ve had my entire professional career.”

In short: not the best start.

Full-field scores from FedEx St. Jude Championship

Fast forward to Saturday evening, and the 25-year-old standout was ending the day at T-3 overall with an 11-under 199.

“What happened Thursday?” a reporter asked.

“I didn’t have Joel read any putts,” Zalatoris answered. “I had him start reading the putts yesterday, and obviously, it’s been a nice little run. We’ve obviously been close all year but having that confirmation in there has been super helpful the last couple days.”

In the past 36 holes, Zalatoris has notched rounds of 63 and 65, including 13 birdies to just one bogey. Once again, he enters Sunday in contention. Once again, he’s got a chance at his maiden PGA Tour victory.

Zalatoris has the most top 10s on Tour this season, eight total, without a win. The difference between those tournaments and now could be his mental game, as the Wake Forest product declared Friday that he’s overcome his self-described “rut” and has started to get more aggressive with his targets this week.

Maybe it just took a caddy change to refresh his perspective and refocus on the task at hand.

“I played on the biggest stages in the majors, and I felt comfortable in those positions,” Zalatoris said. “Obviously, I haven’t gotten a win out of it yet. Eventually we will, and hopefully, tomorrow it is.”

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