Will Zalatoris was set to begin the 2022 Tour Championship at 7 under par and just three strokes back of leader Scottie Scheffler. He had as good a chance as anyone to win the FedEx Cup and cash in on the $18 million grand prize.
But, unfortunately for the 26-year-old phenom, he won’t be teeing it up at East Lake Golf Club with a FedEx Cup title in reach.
So, why isn’t Zalatoris playing in the Tour Championship this weekend?
Will Zalatoris suffered a back injury at the BMW Championship
Two weeks ago, Zalatoris added a victory to his impressive resume by winning the FedEx St. Jude Championship in a thrilling playoff over Sepp Straka. By doing so, he jumped into the No. 1 spot in the FedEx Cup standings with just two playoff events remaining on the schedule.
He returned the following week at the BMW Championship and started slow with rounds of 70 and 69 to begin the tournament. In the third round, Zalatoris tweaked his back and decided to withdraw in the middle of the tournament.
Even after the disappointing WD, Willy Z only dropped back to the No. 3 spot in the standings. He was slated to begin the Tour Championship at 7 under par and three strokes off the lead, which could’ve easily been made up over the course of a 72-hole event.
But Zalatoris won’t even get that chance.
Why isn’t Will Zalatoris playing in the Tour Championship?
Zalatoris was hoping his back injury was going to be a one-week setback, but that won’t be the case. It turned out he suffered two herniated discs in his back, and he was forced to withdraw from the Tour Championship earlier this week.
Not only will Zalatoris miss the FedEx Cup Playoffs finale this weekend, but he’ll also miss the Presidents Cup next month due to his back injury. It would’ve marked his debut in the storied event, but now he’ll have to wait until 2024.
Willy Z had a good chance to win the Tour Championship and the $18 million prize that comes with it, but he’ll finish the season in 30th place and take home just $500,000 instead.
That sure is a costly injury for the young star.