Will Zalatoris Awed by Tiger Woods at PGA Championship

Zalatoris said watching Woods made him feel something akin to imposter syndrome.

Zalatoris said watching Woods made him feel something akin to imposter syndrome.

Last week saw the first few rounds of the PGA Championship, headed up by a star group composed of Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. While this star trio were playing, Will Zalatoris was nearby playing his own way through. Due to the tight quarters of the course, Zalatoris would regularly take breaks to wait his turn to play.

During these moments, his fellow athletes advised him not to watch others play and stay focused, but when presented with the opportunity to watch one of golf’s greats at work, Zalatoris couldn’t miss the chance.

“You’ve heard the vets say, ‘Hey, just don’t watch him, you play your own game,’ and it’s like, ‘Come on, this is the first time I get to see him really play in person and see the crowds,'” Zalatoris said in an interview with Golf Channel at Colonial, currently hosting the Charles Schwab Challenge. “The crowds Thursday-Friday I thought were bigger than Saturday-Sunday, at least in my groups. It was nuts. I played a practice round in front of him Wednesday and it was 35 people deep on [hole eight]. It was just absurd.”

Watching Woods play left Zalatoris in awe, almost to the point of questioning his own achievements. “Being able to just appreciate those moments and kind of just be present and enjoy it, that’s why, to me, I almost had to — it almost felt like I [have] imposter syndrome where I look back on it and go, ‘Wait, you were in a playoff for the PGA Championship?'”

Zalatoris ultimately lost to Justin Thomas at the PGA Championship, but he’s not getting down on himself. “Like I’ve mentioned before, my career goal is to win a major, and now the prep starts for the US Open,” Zalatoris said.

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