Will Zalatoris withdraws from The Open with injury
Wrenched back while hitting out of heavy rough in first round
July 16, 2021
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- July 16, 2021
- Will Zalatoris withdrew before his second round at The Open Championship due injury. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Will Zalatoris withdrew from The 149th Open Championship on Friday, citing a back injury suffered while hitting out of heavy rough late in his opening-round 69.
“I am beyond disappointed,” he said in a statement on social media. “… The second shot out of the heavy rough on #15 yesterday sent a tingling down my left leg and I have been advised to not risk any further damage to my back.”
Zalatoris, 24, was making his first Open start after finishing runner-up at the Masters in April and T8 at the PGA Championship in May. He missed the cut at the U.S. Open and was coming off a 77th-place finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Although he hit just half the fairways – the field averaged 56.78 percent – he had enjoyed a mostly solid first round at Royal St. George’s. He holed out for eagle at the short par-4 12th hole, and, after doubling over in pain after his second shot at 15, salvaged par. He birdied 16.
He said he considered not finishing after the injury but decided to stick it out since it was his first ever competitive round in an Open Championship, “even if it meant embarrassing myself a little at the end ha!” (A missed a tap-in on 17 went viral.)
On Friday, Zalatoris added, he tried hitting balls and working out in the gym, to no avail.
“I am completely gutted to not be moving forward in the championship,” he added. “I look forward to coming back as soon as I can…thank you everyone for the support.”