Will Zalatoris Defeats Sepp Straka in Memphis Play-Off

Will Zalatoris Defeats Sepp Straka in Memphis Play-Off - partycasino

Will Zalatoris collected his maiden PGA Tour title at the FedEx St Jude Championship after defeating Sepp Straka in a playoff. Seventy-two holes had seen Zalatoris and Straka all square. And, after both made par on the 18th twice in the first two playoff holes, before the par-three 12th opened the door for Zalatoris to edge out Straka.

Lucky Playoffs

Zalatoris, 25, had, in fact, been lucky to make it to a playoff. On the 18th, he'd had to deliver an eight-foot putt to not only save par but to go on and force the playoff. So Straka more than likely felt a little aggrieved to lose out in dramatic fashion after putting in an outstanding performance to make it to 15 under.

It was a similar story in the second round of the playoff, with Zalatoris again needing to pull a long-range putt out of the bag to stay alive in the tie. Straka was doing everything right, but Zalatoris just seemed to have the answer every time. And it's the never say die attitude that kept him in the playoff that eventually paid dividends, allowing him to get his hands on a PGA Tour title for the first time.

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The Action

When the action moved to the 12th hole, a par-three, things started to open up for Zalatoris, and he was ready to strike. Things began with both players taking drop shots after their tee shots went wayward. And, Zalatoris even went close to landing in the water, but the ball nestled on the rocks, leading to a drop shot anywhere. Straka, on the other hand, saw his shot land in the water.

Straka had gone from looking to be the likely winner to the one who was playing to stay in the tie. A back-side bunker from the drop zone proved disastrous as it was here that Zalatoris saw the door really open. And, after making it up and down in two, he had his hands on his maiden PGA Tour crown, after what many will describe as plenty of near misses, especially in the majors.


Speaking after his victory, Zalatoris said, “It’s kind of hard to say about time when you’re in your second year on Tour but about time.

“Considering all the close finishes that I’ve had this year, to finally pull it off means a lot,” he added.

Missed Chances

Australian Cameron Smith, who could have become world number one by winning in Memphis, was expected to fare well in the tournament. However, even before his final round, he’d suffered a significant blow that ruled him out of contention. 

He was two shots behind the leader at the time, JJ Spaun, but received a two-shot penalty after playing from the wrong position on the fourth hole. The Players Championship winner was unable to recover and carded an even-par 70 on his final round in what proved to be a disappointing tournament in the end.