Will Zalatoris comes up short at U.S. Open, his third runner-up finish at a major: ‘I’m going to keep knocking on the door’

For the third time in two seasons, Will Zalatoris has suffered a heartbreaking runner-up finish.

In 2021 he finished second in the Masters, and in 2022 he has finished second in the PGA Championship and tied for second in the U.S. Open.

His most recent runner-up finish was particularly heartbreaking. His birdie putt on the final hole of the U.S. Open missed just inches from the cup. Had the shot fallen, he would have forced a playoff with winner Matt Fitzpatrick.

Instead, Zalatoris, 25, finished 5 under for the weekend, tied for second with Scottie Scheffler.

Zalatoris didn’t seem overly disheartened by the finish.

“I’m going to keep knocking on the door,” he said, per The Athletic’s Brendan Quinn. 

Just how close has Zalatoris come to victory? This is hardly his first brush with a major win as he still seeks his first.

MORE: Fitzpatrick emerges as U.S. Open champion after thrilling final round

2021 Masters

Zalatoris finished a stroke behind Hideki Matsuyama, with the third round proving to be the difference. Zalatoris was two strokes ahead of Matsuyama heading into Saturday’s play, but Matsuyama put up a 65 while Zalatoris had his worst day at 71. Zalatoris was only three strokes better than Matsuyama in the final round. He finished at 9 under while Matsuyama won at 10 under.

2022 PGA Championship

Zalatoris came even closer to victory at the PGA last May. He took Justin Thomas to a playoff after forcing extra holes on 18. Thomas birdied the first two holes of the three-hole aggregate playoff; Zalatoris parred his second hole and couldn’t catch up.

2022 U.S. Open

Just a month after his PGA playoff loss, Zalatoris came up short once again at the U.S. Open, although it’s slightly more accurate to say he missed to the left as he again tried to force a playoff on the 18th hole. Once again, he finished a stroke behind the winner, this time tying for second place. It’s a disappointing finish, but Zalatoris was near the top of every leaderboard.

Outside of majors, Zalatoris lost a sudden-death playoff to Luke List at the Farmers Insurance Open in January for yet another runner-up finish. 

Zalatoris has now finished in the top 10 in six of his first nine major appearances. He will look to continue that streak at the British Open in July, the final major of the year.

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