2022 St. Jude Championship leaderboard, grades: Will Zalatoris escapes bizarre playoff with initial PGA Tour get

The FedEx Cup Playoffs the moment again started in extraordinary trend. For the 2nd consecutive period, the initially postseason party wanted extra holes. In a 3-hole battle between Sepp Straka and Will Zalatoris, it was Zalatoris who proved victorious after what can only be explained as a weird playoff.

Acquiring traded pars on the 18th to kick off excess holes, the two returned to the tee. Zalatoris shed his tee shot suitable, and it very easily could have absent out of bounds. Meanwhile, Straka located the hazard — narrowly avoiding the water lining the remaining aspect of the fairway in the process. They both equally would in the long run make unconventional pars, but that is where matters would cease remaining standard.

With Zalatoris’ tee shot discovering (and inexplicably remaining on) the rocks in the hazard on the par-3 11th, it set the phase for Straka to claim his 2nd PGA Tour title of the season. Still, in a breathtaking second, he way too located the penalty area. Straka was not able to find the eco-friendly with his 3rd shot, and with his compounding blunders, Zalatoris’ maiden victory was firmly in his grasp.

It is practically poetic that Zalatoris’ initial vacation to the winner’s circle on the PGA Tour occurred in this kind of a way, as his path to his point has been as irregular as they come. Whilst he is the reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Yr, the Wake Forest product was an omission from very last season’s FedEx Cup Playoffs for the reason that he was not a full-time member. Considering that then, he has extra heartbreak just after heartbreak, losing in a playoff to Justin Thomas at the PGA Championship and just lacking out on one particular at the U.S. Open.

Inevitably, it felt this would happen all over again after his tee shot on the final playoff gap, but the golfing gods had a way of intervening. Much like Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele, the a lot more a single positions them selves late on Sunday, the extra typically the breaks — or ought to I say bounces — go one’s way.

This is specially true of Zalatoris, as it was in no way a issue of “if” he would gain on the PGA Tour, but instead “when.” His moment eventually arrived at TPC Southwind. With his St. Jude Championship title, he has ascended to the prime place in the FedEx Cup standings. Now, he has the probable to adhere to in the footsteps of Patrick Cantlay and dash as a result of the finish line at East Lake and raise the FedEx Cup crown. Quality: A+

Right here is the breakdown of the rest of the leaderboard at the 2022 St. Jude Championship

2. Sepp Straka (-15): Coming into the 7 days off 6 consecutive missed cuts, if you told Straka he would have a 9-iron in hand with a chance to earn the match, he would have taken it in a heartbeat. He confirmed large solve down the extend, hitting clutch shot following clutch shot to match Zalatoris, who was in the team forward of him. In the stop, it was not meant to be, but his perform shows the ungodly depth at the moment on the PGA Tour. It also reveals that a player’s fortunes can change on any offered 7 days. Quality: A+

T3. Lucas Glover: He was No. 121 at the start out of the St. Jude Championship and will be leaving Memphis just outside the house the top rated 50 of the FedEx Cup standings. Without having a best-20 finish because the Texas Open up in April, the previous U.S. Open winner played his best golf of the season at the most critical time. When his bogey on the 72nd hole may well make supper flavor a little bit sour, in the grand plan of the postseason, it was an particularly clutch overall performance.

“It is wonderful,” mentioned Glover. “Kind of similar situation a couple decades back and had, you know, a person-and-a-fifty percent superior months and ended up in Atlanta. That was type of in the back again of my head and imagined, you know, just bought to get to the next 7 days and then everybody’s bought a shot.” Grade: A+

T5. Tony Finau (-11): Trying to grow to be the first male to effectively defend a title in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Finau gave it a wonderful hard work. Practically successful in his 3rd straight start off, the 4-time PGA Tour winner will have to be on the shortlist of likely players to raise the trophy at East Lake. As it has been for the past thirty day period, Finau’s sport was strong in the course of the bag and could be on the cusp of a postseason run. Grade: A

T5. Adam Scott (-11): He entered the week 77th in the FedEx Cup standings and played himself nicely inside of the prime-70 cutoff level with his prime-five result. The Australian did not participate in all far too frequently in the course of the 2021-22 standard year, and the game prepare has proven to be fruitful. He should have a good deal remaining in the tank as he appears to climb inside the major 30 following 7 days at the BMW Championship before serving as a veteran existence for the International Team at the Presidents Cup in September.

“I played seriously poorly yesterday and someway shot a first rate rating, and to transform it all around and enjoy reliable these days and give myself a likelihood to go through,” stated Scott. “I am content with that. I get to participate in four rounds future week. And my golf’s been rather fantastic, and I’ve got practically nothing out of it. I experience even even though I am not profitable this occasion, I experience like I’m getting some thing out of the 7 days, so with any luck , that’s excellent for the confidence heading into next 7 days and by some means have a huge 7 days and get by way of to East Lake.” Quality: A

T5. Jon Rahm (-11): The former earth No. 1 has had a quiet season with only just one victory, but he may be on to something. Ending his St. Jude Championship with a round of 4-underneath 66, Rahm captured however yet another top-10 outcome in the FedEx Cup Playoffs and could be a person to retain an eye on for the BMW Championship. He was his typical, regular self from tee to inexperienced about TPC Southwind, and the absence of training course know-how for players at Wilmington State Club may perhaps aid his endeavours on the greens relative to the competitiveness. Grade: B+

T13. Cameron Smith (-9): He was the betting favored overnight, but ahead of even striking a golf ball Smith saw his identify drop from 11 below to 9 less than. Assessed a two-stroke penalty 30 minutes right before his tee time on Sunday owing to an improper fall for the duration of his third round, the Winner Golfer of the Year was quickly place driving the eight ball. He did his greatest to shrug it off as he made birdie on his opening gap, but he eventually stalled. It would have been a huge working day for Smith with a earn, he would’ve ascended to earth No. 1 and FedEx No. 1, and he’d be the prohibitive most loved to be named Participant of the Year. In its place, he will have to wait around right until future week for another opportunity to execute such feats. Quality: B

T13. Justin Thomas (-9): The 2020 winner at TPC Southwind hardly ever threatened the leaders, as a very poor third round was his undoing. After opening with back again-to-back rounds of 67, Thomas signed for a 1-more than 71 on Saturday. In spite of the disappointment, the previous FedEx Cup winner ought to acquire plenty of positives into the last two weeks of the year. Capturing a major-20 end, Thomas ranked fourth in strokes attained tee to eco-friendly courtesy of exquisite attempts equally off the tee and close to the green. If he is to working experience a common work with his irons upcoming 7 days, he should really have a reasonable chance to capture his second BMW Championship. Quality: B-

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