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Will Zalatoris announces he'll miss the rest of the season after undergoing back surgery

April 10, 2023
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Jared C. Tilton

After contending in his first two appearances at Augusta National, a third trip didn't produce the Masters weekend Will Zalatoris hoped for. The 26-year-old PGA Tour star announced on Monday that he will be out for the remainder of the season after undergoing back surgery on Saturday.

Zalatoris revealed he had a successful microdiscectomy procedure, and that he expects a full recovery. Here's his full statement that he shared on Instagram:

"After careful consideration and seeking multiple medical opinions, I underwent a successful microdiscectomy on Saturday. As much as I hate not being able to play the rest of the season, I am happy that I am already seeing the benefits of the procedure. Playing and living in pain is not fun. I look forward to making a full recovery and seeing everyone in the fall. Thank you to Dr. Michael Duffy, Dr. Tom Kelton, and their respective teams for getting me fixed. And, of course, thank you to everyone for the support and the messages. I look forward to getting back to 100%."

Zalatoris played in multiple practice rounds at Augusta National last week, but withdrew before his Thursday tee time. Last year, he took four months off after withdrawing during the third round of the BMW Championship in August. That came one week after winning his first PGA Tour title at the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

At his pre-Masters press conference on Tuesday, Zalatoris talked about coming back from two herniated disks.

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

Zalatoris returned to action sooner than he anticipated at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January and began 2023 by shooting nine consecutive rounds in the 60s. He shot a Sunday 64 at Riviera to finish fourth place at the Genesis Invitational, but had struggled in his past three starts heading into the Masters.

Zalatoris finished runner-up to Hideki Matsuyama in his Masters debut in 2021, and backed that up with a T-6 last year. In 10 career major championship starts, Zalatoris has six top-10 finishes, including three runner-ups.