Golf: Will Zalatoris ‘hurt’ by third 2nd-place finish at U.S. Open, ‘waiting turn’ for major

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Will Zalatoris reacts after missing a putt for birdie on No. 18 at the 2022 U.S. Open on Sunday at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 20 (UPI) — Will Zalatoris was “hurt” by his third career second-place finish at a golf major championship, but will keep “waiting his turn” for a victory, he told reporters after his heartbreaking loss at the 2022 U.S. Open.

Zalatoris, 25, carded a 1-under par 69 over his final 18 holes Sunday at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. He shared the lead with eventual winning Matt Fitzpatrick through three rounds, but finished one stroke back of the Englishman at the third major of the season.

“I’m not happy with finishing second,” Zalatoris told reporters. “The comfort level is there, especially now that I know I can do this.

“I just keep having to wait my turn. … This one hurts, in particular, pretty hard. But it’s motivating. I gotta keep doing what I’m doing. I know we are going to get one sooner or later.”

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who tied Zalatoris for second, was the first of the Top 3 players to enter the clubhouse. He was 3-under par over his final 18 and carded a 5-under 275 through four rounds.

Fitzpatrick missed a chance to push his lead to two strokes on No. 17 and found the bunker with a drive on No. 18. He went on to two-putt for par. Zalatoris then failed on his attempt to send the tournament to a playoff when he just missed a long birdie with his final putt, which gave Fitzpatrick the title.

Zalatoris put his hands to his head and crouched in disappointment after the heartbreaking miss.

“I battled like crazy,” Zalatoris said. “Considering where I drove it today, the fact that I was under par was pretty nice. I thought I made a lot of nice putts just to keep myself in it.”

Zalatoris also finished second in last month’s PGA Championship. He finished one stroke back of winner Justin Thomas after a three-hole playoff at that tournament. He also finished one stroke behind winner Hideki Matsuyama at the 2021 Masters Tournament.

Zalatoris said he struggled with sporadic shots out of the tee box and faced tough uphill approaches and fast greens throughout the weekend in Brookline. He also said he didn’t regret how he played, but it “stings” to have three runner-up finishes.

“I’d pay a lot of money for an inch and a half and I’d probably be a three-time major champion,” Zalatoris said.

Zalatoris owns eight Top 10 finishes this season on the PGA Tour. He climbed to No. 8 in the FedExCup standings and from No. 14 to No. 12 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Fitzpatrick is tied with Zalatoris with eight Top 10 finishes. He climbed from No. 28 to No. 10 in the FedExCup standings and from No. 18 to No. 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Scheffler and Thomas own a Tour-best nine Top 10 finishes this season.

The PGA Tour schedule continues with the Travelers Championship from Thursday through Sunday at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. The rival LIV Golf Series Invitational Series will hold its second event from June 30 to July 2 near Portland, Ore.

Matt Fitzpatrick of England holds the championship trophy for the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., on Sunday. Fitzpatrick won his first major championship with a 6-under-par 274. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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