Will Zalatoris’ breakout season on the PGA Tour has ended in perhaps the worst possible way.
Zalatoris officially withdrew from the season-ending Tour Championship on Tuesday with two herniated discs in his back. He was at No. 3 in the FedExCup standings heading into East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, which would have placed him just three shots behind the leader and in a great position to make a run at the FedExCup.
His agent also confirmed that Zalatoris will miss the Presidents Cup next month. Zalatoris was at No. 7 in the standings, and was expected to be selected for the team by captain Davis Love III.
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“After Will’s withdrawal from the BMW Championship on Saturday, his medical team determined that the source of his back pain is two herniated discs,” Zalatoris’ agent, Allen Hobbs, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, this means that Will is unable to play this week at the Tour Championship. He is also very disappointed that he will not have the opportunity to play in next month’s Presidents Cup, where he was hoping to play for Captain Love and represent the United States.
“Will would like to thank his fans, sponsors, the Tour, and his team for all of their support. He is fully focused on getting healthy and back onto the course as soon as he is able.”
Zalatoris first went down with his back injury on Saturday at the BMW Championship, which forced him to withdraw just four holes in.
Despite his withdrawal last week in Delaware, Zalatoris only dropped to No. 3 in the FedExCup standings and still sits at a career-best No. 9 in the Official World Golf Rankings.
He won’t be replaced in Atlanta this week, and will instead finish No. 30 in the FedExCup standings by default. That will earn him a $500,000 bonus. No other starting positions will be impacted by his withdrawal, either.
Zalatoris picked up 13 top-25 finishes and three runner-up finishes this season, his first as a full-time Tour member. He finished in a tie for second at the U.S. Open, and fell in a playoff both at the Farmers Insurance Open and the PGA Championship. He finally broke through for his inaugural win at the FedEx St. Jude Championship earlier this month, which kicked off the FedExCup Playoffs.