BROOKLYN, Mass. — The putter slides out an inch — the equivalent of a millimeter — beyond the left edge of the cup. Will Zalatoris crouched down and let go of the putter, feeling it slide down the back of his shoulder onto the turf. His hands bounced off the green and then covered his face.
That’s the pain on the golf course. Even if it’s never been more certain that Zara Torres is destined to win a major one day — probably soon — Sunday’s U.S. Open was the most poignant of his growing list of narrow wins.
“I thought I did it,” Zara Torres said after his playoff match against champion Matt Fitzpatrick was one shot and less than an inch away.
We’ve heard it before.
Zara Torres shot a 1-under 69 to lose by one stroke. The runner-up comes just four weeks after Saratoris finished runner-up at the PGA Championship, where he lost to Justin Thomas in the playoffs. Less than 15 months later, he beat Hideki Matsuyama by one shot for second at the Masters.
All told, it was Zara Torres’ sixth top-10 finish in a major since his major debut at the Winged Foot U.S. Open two years ago. He’s 25, has played on the PGA Tour for less than two years and is now a runner-up in three of his four majors.
“I’m three shots away from being a three-time major champion,” Zara Torres said. “Bounce here or there.”
Oh, those bounces.
He and Fitzpatrick were tied when they got to the 15th tee, a 500-yard, par-4 monster teeing blindly up the hill. Fitzpatrick frantically blocked his drive on the right. Zara Torres also missed his, but not as badly.
When they arrived at the ball, Fitzpatrick was sitting in a thin place trampled underfoot by the gallery. Zaratoris grows rough trails in 4″ tall, dense grass.
Fitzpatrick birdied from there. Zara Torres makes a bogey. He couldn’t get over those two swings.
“We were going down and he said, ‘I barely missed the fairway, I had a terrible lie, he missed 30 yards, he’s fine,'” said Zara Torres’ caddie Ryan Goble. “But Matt played great. Yeah, it was a great experience. So you just have to say, ‘Yeah, we’ll get him next time.'” https://www.nwaonline.com/news/ 2022/jun/20/zalatoris-finishes-second-in-another-major/”
In 2020, when the pandemic forced the USGA to cancel qualifying and issue waivers to the top players on the Korn Ferry Tour, Zara Torres didn’t have his tour card.
He entered the field on the basis of a high ranking, and it remains his only career victory. What stood out about Korn Ferry’s win in Colorado was that Zara Torres went into the final round with a lead and wrote Goble a check to confirm the winner’s share before hitting the ball for the day.
That’s called confidence, and it’s been growing ever since.
“It’s just the patience and his mentality when he has a bad hole, it’s unbelievable,” Goble said. “I’ve never met anyone who could cut it off like that and go into the next hole.”
Zara Torres arrived at the county club on Sunday wearing a shirt featuring silhouettes of Francis Oymet and his 10-year-old caddie Eddie Lowery. It was Ouimet’s thrilling victory here in 1913 that put golf on the American map.
After 11 holes on Sunday, Zara Torres looked like he was about to join the pantheon of U.S. Open champions like Oymet, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and others.
He made birdies from 18 feet on the 9th and 11th to open a two-shot lead. He hit back on the par-4 12th. Then, after a wild tee-off on the 13th hole, he returned a long birdie from Fitzpatrick and made his own 12-foot par save to tie the game.
All of this seems to have subsided, for at least one day, with lingering questions about the Zalatoris Flat Stick. All major successes aside, he came to the country club as the 160th putter on the PGA Tour.
The largest putter barely slipped through.
Half an hour after that miss, Zara Torres took some solace in saying he didn’t miss any short putts that had hurt him in previous near misses, such as No. 16 at the PGA Championship last month. Hole.
And he didn’t three-putt all week.
He passed 72 holes of golf’s toughest test without a double bogey.
“Usually that leads to playing well at the U.S. Open. So the secret is there. The game is there,” Zara Torres said. “But like I said, I just have to wait for my turn.”