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Will Zalatoris wins St. Jude Championship, takes FedExCup Playoffs lead

 UPI News logo: MainLogo UPI News 8/15/2022 Alex Butler

Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Golfer Will Zalatoris picked a great time to earn his first PGA Tour victory, claiming the St. Jude Championship and earning a lead in the 2022 FedExCup Playoffs in Memphis.

Zalatoris edged Sepp Straka in a three-hole playoff for the triumph Sunday at TPC Southwind. He claimed a $2.7 million prize for the first-place finish.

"It's kinda hard to say about time when it's your second year on Tour, but it's about time," Zalatoris, who finished second in two majors this season, told reporters.

"This week was kind of a grind, considering the start I had. Considering the close finishes I've had this year, to finally pull it off means a lot."

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Zalatoris' final round featured five birdies and one bogey. He made par on the other 12 holes to finish 4-under par for the round. Straka carded five birdies and made bogey twice over his final 18. Zalatoris and Straka each made par on the first two holes of the playoff.

Zalators then stepped up and launched a shot toward the island green on No. 11. The ball bounced off the fringe and landed on a stone wall just above the water, but did not fall in the pond.

Straka's first shot went into the water. Each player then took a drop. Straka hit his third shot into the bunker, while Zalatoris' landed seven feet from the hole. Straka's fourth stroke sailed past the hole, while Zalators sank his winning putt for the victory.

Lucas Glover and Brian Harman tied for third place. Adam Scott, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Tony Finau, Matt Fitzpatrick, Andrew Putnam and Trey Mullinax tied for fifth. J.J. Spaun, who led the tournament by one stroke entering the final round, was 8-over par Sunday and finished tied for 42nd.

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Zalators now leads the FedExCup standings. The Top 70 players from the St. Jude Championship advanced to the BMW Championship, which will run from Thursday through Sunday at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Del.

The Tour Championship, the finale of the playoffs, will run from Aug. 25 to 28 at East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta.

"There is a lot of golf left," Zalatoris said. "Obviously, I'm in a nice spot, but we've got a lot of golf ahead of us."


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