As William Zalatoris moved up The Masters leaderboard Friday, people noticed how much he resembles a memorable movie caddy.
To all but the most hardcore golf fans, William Zalatoris is an unknown. But he has been playing well, with 10 top-25 finishes in 14 PGA Tour events this season heading into The Masters this week.
Zalatoris climbed into a tie for second by shooting -4 (68) at Augusta on Friday, and he’s in Saturday’s final group one shot behind solo leader Justin Rose. Birdies on the final three holes will give the Masters rookie some momentum heading into “moving day.”
Zalatoris failed to make it through Q-School on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2018. In 2019, he earned his tour card relying on Monday qualifiers and sponsor exemptions. He won his first pro tournament last summer, which earned him entrance to the U.S. Open last fall. He finished sixth at Winged Foot. He’s still not a full-on PGA Tour member, but that’s going to change soon.
Golf fans noticed something about William Zalatoris
For a lot of people, Adam Sandler’s best movie is 1996’s Happy Gilmore. The underdog story, the memorable appearance from Bob Barker. Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) as Gilmore’s alligator-maimed golf coach “Chubs.” Part of Gilmore’s story was enlisting help from unexpected places, including a young blond-haired caddy, who surely worked cheaply as he tried to climb the ranks.
It is pretty uncanny how much Zalatoris looks like a grown-up version of Gilmore’s caddy in the fictional Waterbury Open.
But all jokes aside, Zalatoris is becoming well-known and he’s within striking distance of winning his first major heading into the weekend. Even if he falls short, another top-10 finish on one of the biggest stages in golf seems likely. Then he’ll really be on his way to becoming a household name.