01/10/2022

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Why Will Zalatoris’ miracle rock-shot surprised TPC Southwind’s designer

Why Will Zalatoris’ miracle rock-shot surprised TPC Southwind’s designer

Will Zalatoris examining his unlikely lie on TPC Southwind’s 11th hole.

Getty Photos

Ron Prichard was glued to the FedEx St. Jude Championship playoff among Will Zalatoris and Sepp Straka at TPC Southwind Sunday evening.

He had a couple of fantastic causes for tuning in.

For one particular, the action was riveting, with Zalatoris and Straka investing blows about 3 thrilling holes of unexpected demise. For one more, Prichard developed TPC Southwind, which opened for participate in back again in 1988.

For the duration of the business in advance of the third playoff hole — the watery par-3 11th — Prichard stepped absent from the Tv in his Philadelphia-area home. When he returned, he’d skipped a handful of moments of the broadcast.


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“I arrived back in and what I did see was Straka’s ball go in the drinking water,” Prichard informed Golf.com. “And when I noticed his ball go in the h2o, I saw what I thought was a ball wedged in a very little crease involving the sod and the stone wall.”

Prichard’s eyes had not deceived him. In advance of Straka experienced rinsed his tee shot, Zalatoris had pretty much dunked his own tee ball.

Practically.

Zalatoris’ ball had arrive up shorter, just as Straka’s had, but it bounced several moments on the stone wall guarding the front of the 11th green in advance of nestling in a rut that separates the tough from the edge of the wall. “A minimal wonder,” NBC analyst Paul Azinger explained on the telecast.

“A couple of seconds afterwards, they confirmed Zalatoris’ shot,” Prichard reported. “I was shocked.”

Prichard was stunned not only since the ball had settled following to the wall but also for the reason that there was a wall there at all.

When the class opened for perform, Prichard claimed, there had been no partitions by the h2o dangers — just turf that ran right into the water a la what you see at Augusta National.

“I’ve always felt from a options standpoint, and then of course from a playing standpoint, that must not be a predicament where a ball comes down and lands on best of a stone wall and bounces anyplace,” Prichard reported.

The class added walls to numerous of its lakes in 2019, TPC Southwind superintendent Nick Bisanz instructed Golfing.com. The 11th hole was in certain need to have of a wall, he explained, because the steep lender was beginning to collapse.

“We’ve never ever deemed covering [the walls] with turf,” Bisanz claimed.

He added that Prichard’s choice to cover the walls isn’t always improper — it’s just Bisanz’s architectural choice to leave them exposed.

Bisanz also explained that even a wall capped with turf could continue to direct to unpredictable bounces.

As for the result of Zalatoris’ tee ball? Bisanz stated he was as stunned as every person observing at property.

“I don’t see how his ball located that crevice,” he mentioned. “That was a incredibly unique tiny spot… I’ve hardly ever viewed it in advance of.”

In the close, Zalatoris’ potential break was moot, offered he identified he could not engage in his future shot from the wall. He took a fall and and continue to got up and down, which was very good more than enough to beat Straka and assert his 1st PGA Tour title.

Even now, the episode offered for some outstanding theater, primarily for the guy who built the class.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at Golfing. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is 2020 graduate of Penn Condition College, earning levels in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high university golfing team and even now *attempts* to remain competitive in area amateurs. Before joining Golf, Jack put in two several years operating at a Tv set station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also manufacturing, anchoring and even presenting the climate. He can be reached at [email protected]