Golf-Zalatoris talks to Matsuyama for first time since Masters
Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris could not catch Hideki Matsuyama at Augusta National Golf Club but did track the Japanese major champion down on Tuesday ahead of this week's AT&T Byron Nelson in McKinney, Texas.
Zalatoris said he bumped into Matsuyama in a parking lot at TPC Craig Ranch, where first-round action begins on Thursday, for the first time since he finished one shot back of him at the year's first major in April. "I tried to see him after the tournament was over, but he obviously had some more important things to do," Zalatoris, who was the only player with four under-par rounds at the Masters, said in his pre-tournament news conference on Tuesday.
"So it was nice to kind of share a moment and just tell him congratulations, and obviously making history like that for an entire country is unbelievable." World number 15 Matsuyama is returning to competition this week for the first time since he became the first Japanese man to win a major championship.
Zalatoris credited Matsuyama for being what he called a "constant tinkerer" who he said spends countless hours testing out every iron shaft, trying new heads and different putters. "It's just kind of cool to see a guy try to find the tiny intricacies in different clubs and his golf swing," said Zalatoris. "It's really admirable to see someone who is that passionate about excelling at this game.
"So, like I said, a guy who made history for his country, but there's also nobody more worthy than him to go win that major. So it was a long time coming." While Zalatoris has not watched a replay of the Masters, where he was bidding to become the first debutant to win a Green Jacket since 1979, he has spent plenty of time reliving some pivotal moments from the final round.
"I've kind of looked back on and tried to figure out where I could find the one or two shots, and I do that on every tournament," said Zalatoris, who is currently a Special Temporary Member on the PGA Tour. "We all do, think about how we can improve."
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