Will Zalatoris expects September return to PGA Tour

Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Network

Will Zalatoris is the only player ranked in the Official World Golf Ranking top 100 not playing in the PGA Championship this week at Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y.

Zalatoris, who hasn’t played since late March after undergoing back surgery, said Friday he is targeting a September return to the PGA Tour.

For the first time in the last two years, Zalatoris is pain-free, he told ESPN’s “Matty and the Caddie” PGA Championship simulcast.

“No headaches, no leg pain,” Zalatoris said. “This is the best I’ve felt. I feel great.”

The ninth-ranked player in the world lost to Justin Thomas in a playoff at the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla. That wasn’t the only time he contended at a major last season; he tied for second at the U.S. Open after battling eventual winner Matt Fitzpatrick of England down the stretch.

Zalatoris went on to win his first PGA Tour title at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

The 26-year-old pulled out of the following event, the BMW Championship, after two rounds. He sat out the Tour Championship due to herniated discs in his back.

Zalatoris played six tournaments in early 2023 before withdrawing from the WGC-Match Play and the Masters. The Monday after the Masters, he announced he underwent a microdisectomy to treat his ailing back.

Zalatoris will not qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs after his injury absence, so the earliest he could return to the tour is the fall slate starting in mid-September.

–Field Level Media

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