Watch: Will Zalatoris was this close to forcing US Open playoff

Will Zalatoris was so close to forcing a playoff at the 2022 US Open. Instead, Matt Fitzpatrick won his first major championship.

It was not to be for Will Zalatoris, again. Zalatoris was the runner-up to Justin Thomas at this year’s PGA Championship. Unfortunately, he’ll have to wait until next month at The Open Championship to get another shot at winning a major championship. Zalatoris fell just short at the US Open.

Zalatoris was in position on the 18th green to force a playoff with England’s Matt Fitzpatrick who led by one-stroke heading into the final hole. The 25-year-old hit his approach squarely onto the putting surface about 14 feet from the cup, but his putt to force a playoff was just a touch off-line.

Will Zalatoris was this close to forcing US Open playoff

Will Zalatoris had battled back after a costly bogey at the par-4 15th saw him drop out of a tie for the lead at the 2022 US Open. Zalatoris trailed Matt Fitzpatrick by two shots as they both approached the No. 16 tee.

A 6-iron into the par-3 16th left Zalatoris just a 6-foot putt in order to get back into the tournament. He sunk the putt, and pulled within one stroke of the lead with two holes left to play. Zalatoris stepped onto the tee box at No. 18 trailing by one and blasted his drive onto the fairway.

An approach into the green from about 130 yards out left Zalatoris inside of the leader. Two putts from Matt Fitzpatrick gave the Englishman a one-stroke advantage, but Zalatoris still had one last shot.

Will Zalatoris inspected his upcoming putt, stood overtop of his ball, and gave it a ride to the hole. Zalatoris’ putt passed by ever-so-slightly on the left-hand side of the cup, and the University of Wake Forest alum crouched and dropped his putter behind his back as he watched the opportunity to win his first major slide past the hole.

This was Zalatoris’ second runner-up finish in a major this season and the third time it’s happened in his career. Zalatoris also came up just short at The Masters in 2020, a tournament that was won by Hideki Matsuyama.

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