Tiger Woods is a legend in golf and has been playing for almost 30 years. Zalatoris only began his career about five years ago, but has already made three major championship appearances with two victories to date. Will this be the year he takes home at least one of those coveted trophies?

Will Zalatoris, a little-known Wake Forest graduate, was competing in 2020 for a spot on the PGA Tour. He moved up to the top-12 of the world rankings two years later and is now only a few strokes away from being a three-time major winner.

The rising talent has nine starts in major championships and six top-10 and three runner-up performances. He has now finished one stroke behind of the winner in back-to-back majors, but he hasn’t yet claimed a victory.

Nevertheless, in their first nine appearances in majors, only one golfer in history has performed better than Zalatoris. Tiger Woods is that golfer, without a doubt.

In big competitions, Will Zalatoris is already a monster.

Majors for Will Zalatoris

U.S. Open in 2022: Tied for second PGA Championship in 2022: Second Masters of 2022: Tied for sixth Masters – 2nd in 2021 Tied for sixth at the 2020 U.S. Open

The victory is coming. #PGA pic.twitter.com/MgzP7ecCrR

— bet365 CA (@bet365ca) June 19, 2022

Young PGA Tour players often have to wait a few years before they begin taking major championship competition seriously, but Zalatoris has been quite the contrary. Willy Z has played his best golf in the majors despite just being a sophomore on the Tour.

He has only had to withdraw once and missed the cut twice in nine starts. In the last six, he placed T8, T6, T6, T2, 2, and 2. He came within one stroke of the winning score in each of his three second-place finishes. It’s interesting that during his career, he has only finished second once in non-majors.

Zalatoris’ putter has mostly prevented him from winning his first PGA Tour contest. The 25-year-strokes old’s gained putting this season has him ranked 158th on the Tour, but for some reason he putsts considerably better in majors when the pressure is more and the greens are quicker.

Zalatoris has made three major starts this year, placing sixth, tenth, and fourth in the field in strokes gained putting, respectively. One of the finest young major performances in golf history may be found when you combine his excellent ball-striking with hot putting.

Through nine major starts, only Tiger Woods has outperformed Will Zalatoris.

Will Zalatoris tees off during the final round of the U.S. Open. During the 122nd U.S. Open Championship’s final round at The Country Club, Will Zalatoris hits his shot from the 16th tee. Getty Images/Jared C. Tilton

We are all aware of how well Woods has performed throughout the course of his career in major tournaments. In addition to his 41 top-10 performances, he also has 15 major championships.

Similar to Zalatoris, Woods discovered early in his career how to succeed in majors. In just his eighth major appearance, he captured his maiden victory in the 1997 Masters, and things took off from there. Tiger Woods started his career with the greatest real strokes gained statistic in golf history—+2.9—in his first nine major tournament appearances.

And who’s now second on that list? None other than Zalatoris. Willy Z has gained 2.8 total strokes through his first nine major starts, which puts him ahead of every other PGA Tour player not named Tiger Woods, per Data Golf.

Zalatoris will eventually get over the hump and win his first significant championship.

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Which Golfers Have Placed Second in the Most Major Championships?

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