Masters 2023

Masters 2023: Will Zalatoris WDs with an injury before hitting a shot in first round

April 06, 2023
Masters 2023

Will Zalatoris had two straight top-six finishes in the Masters before having to withdraw on Thursday.

Ben Walton

After strong showings in his first two Masters appearances, Will Zalatoris won’t get a chance to keep the string alive. The eighth-ranked player in the world had to withdraw from the tournament on Thursday with an injury, according to an Augusta National press release.

Zalaoris was scheduled to tee off in the afternoon in a marquee pairing with major winners Collin Morikawa and Matt Fitzpatrick.

Zalatoris, 26, has had a run of injuries and illness in recent months. He had a breakout season in 2022, posting runners-up in the PGA Championship and U.S. Open, and notched his first PGA Tour victory in the playoffs' FedEx St. Jude Championship. But he suffered two herniated discs in his back at the BMW Championship the next week and shut it down for the rest of the year.

The Wake Forest alum's best finish this season is a tie for fourth in the Genesis Invitational, but he also had to withdraw from the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship two weeks ago because of a stomach virus that resulted in the already lanky golfer losing seven pounds.

He was sounding very optimistic earlier this week about a return to the Masters, where he finished solo second in his debut in 2021 and tied for sixth last year.

“It's taken its sweet time to get the full swing to come back, but I think really the last couple weeks we finally have seen some progress,” Zalatoris said on Tuesday.

About the back injury, he explained, “The genesis of it was actually bad right ankle mobility. Because of me not pushing off my right side soon enough and being a very kind of dynamic player with some side bend, my right hip got high and tilt back. We've been trying to get me actually to stand closer to the golf ball, so that makes me create space with the ball so I can turn more horizontal as opposed to lateral. It's been good.”