Morikawa eager to savour taste of success after debut Open triumph
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PGA Tour star Will Zalatoris revealed that his caddie Ryan Gobe played a ‘mind trick’ on him that led to him securing his first ever professional win on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Speaking ahead of this week’s Wyndham Championship in North Carolina, Zalatoris was speaking about his maiden professional win at the TPC Colorado Championship last year, admitting caddie Gobe played a clever ‘mind trick’ on him that led him on the way to his maiden title.
Zalatoris said: “When I won [the TPC Colorado Championship], well, on 15, it’s a very gettable par 5. I hit it over the back of the green and I had about a 35-footer and I left it hanging on the lip.
“Ryan was – he could tell I was frustrated. We get up to 16 tee and it’s like a 122-yard par-3 down the hill with a false front and I’m pacing off the yardage.
“I’m like, ‘I’ve got 122.’ He said, ‘Pace it off again.’ I’m looking at him like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m trying to win a golf tournament. You’ve got a different number.”
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Despite his initial doubts Zalatoris eventually realised Gobe was attempting to both slow, and calm him down as he headed down the stretch for his first professional win.
He commented: “I look at him and he’s smiling and I knew immediately what he was doing was actually trying to get me to slow down and just take a moment.
“Don’t press and make another mistake when you don’t have to because the first thing if someone tells you to calm down, you’re like ‘Well, no, I’m not going to calm down, you calm down.’”
He added: “So it was a really kind of good little mind trick that he played on me, and I ended up hitting the shot to eight feet, making birdie and we ended up winning the tournament by one.”
The 24-year-old has proved to be one of the PGA Tour’s revelations this campaign, and his breakthrough year on the biggest stage has seen him climb to 29th in the world.
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The young American initially threw himself into the limelight at this year’s Masters, after finishing in second place, two shots behind eventual champion Hideki Matsuyama on nine-under-par on his debut appearance at Augusta National.
Zalatoris heads to Sedgefield Country Club this week in strong form, after he secured another impressive finish at last week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, shooting 12-under for the tournament to finish in a tie for eighth.
The American’s performance at the World Golf Championship was the perfect response to his Open Championship disappointment, after he was forced to withdraw from the event at Royal St. George’s after picking up an injury hitting out of long grass.
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