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Will Zalatoris triumphs in dramatic playoff to claim first PGA Tour win

Will Zalatoris claimed his maiden PGA Tour victory in a dramatic playoff at the FedEx St Jude Championship (Mark Humphrey/AP)
Will Zalatoris claimed his maiden PGA Tour victory in a dramatic playoff at the FedEx St Jude Championship (Mark Humphrey/AP)

Will Zalatoris claimed his maiden PGA Tour victory in a dramatic playoff at the FedEx St Jude Championship.

The American defeated Austria’s Sepp Straka in three extra holes at TPC Southwind – despite not making a birdie.

The pair closed out 72 holes tied for the lead on 15 under and matched each other in the playoff by twice making par on 18.

Things then opened up on the par-three 11th, when Zalatoris hit his tee shot onto the rocks courting the green.

However, Straka’s tee shot ended up in the water, leaving a slight window for Zalatoris to strike.

He did just that, sinking a seven-foot bogey putt to clinch the first of what is sure to be many Tour wins.

Speaking to media after his victory, Zalatoris said: “It’s kind of hard to say ‘about time’ when you’re in your second year on Tour but (it’s) about time.

“Considering all the close finishes that I’ve had this year, to finally pull it off means a lot.”

It capped off what had already been a dramatic final round. Cameron Smith’s bid for world number one was dealt a blow before play began on Sunday, when he was assessed a two-shot penalty for playing from the wrong place on the fourth hole in round three.

Victory in Memphis would have propelled the Australian past Scottie Scheffler and to the top of the PGA rankings.