Atop the FedEx Cup rankings, Will Zalatoris entered this week’s BMW Championship as the player to beat. He just won his first PGA Tour event, the FedEx St. Jude Championship, in Memphis. And he’s set up nicely to challenge for the FedEx Cup next week in Atlanta.
Unfortunately, the rest of his season is in doubt. The world No. 9 was hurt in the back on the third hole of the third round on Saturday at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware.
While waiting for the PGA Tour physio, Zalatoris and his playing companion, Emiliano Grillo, let the group of Sam Burns and Adam Hadwin through Zalatoris opted to back out of the competition after a quick visit and some stretching.
The PGA Tour confirmed on Saturday that Will Zalatoris withdrew from the third round of the 2022 BMW Championship due to a back ailment. The FedEx Cup leader, who won the St. Jude Championship for the first time in his career, had to leave the tournament early on Saturday because of back spasms. Zalatoris decided to end his round on the fifth tee after receiving treatment from a PGA Tour physiotherapist.
According to a statement released by Zalatoris‘ representative, “Will tweaked his lower back during a shot on the third hole today.” “He had it treated, but the pain persisted, so he decided to skip the BMW Championship and spend the following several days working with his coach to reduce the swelling. Will is excited about next week’s game in Atlanta.”
Zalatoris was playing through obvious pain on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/782Xo6IVU8
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 20, 2022
Zalatoris was only four strokes behind Adam Scott after 36 holes and 4 under for the event when he withdrew. Due to Zalatoris’s withdrawal, Scottie Scheffler now has a great chance to retake the FedEx Cup lead going into next week’s Tour Championship.
The FedEx Cup leader is two strokes clear of the next closest pursuer heading into the Tour Championship, so this could prove to be a decisive factor. Since both Zalatoris and No. 3 in the FedEx Cup Cameron Smith (who withdrew on Monday due to hip pain) will not be competing this weekend, the world No. 1 must be salivating at the prospect of a bye.
Despite the unfortunate timing of Zalatoris’ injury, there is some good news. The Wake Forest graduate will start the week at East Lake at 7 under par, which would put him in third place in the FedEx Cup rankings at worst.
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