Zalatoris (back) pulls out of Tour Championship

Zalatoris (back) pulls out of Tour Championship

ATLANTA — Will Zalatoris, who picked up his first PGA Tour victory two weeks ago, has withdrawn from the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club because of two herniated disks in his back.

Zalatoris, 26, was injured on the third hole of the third round of the BMW Championship on Saturday at Wilmington Country Club in Delaware. He tried to play through the injury, but withdrew on the next hole.

Zalatoris, the ninth-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, also won’t compete in next month’s Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina, his agent announced on Twitter.

“He is also very disappointed that he will not have the opportunity to play in next month’s Presidents Cup, where he was hoping to play for Captain [Davis] Love and represent the United States,” his agent, Allen Hobbs, said in a statement. “… He is fully focused on getting healthy and back onto the course as soon as he is able.”

Zalatoris just missed earning one of the six automatic spots on the U.S. team for the Presidents Cup. At seventh in the Presidents Cup points standings, he would have likely been among the six captain’s choices for the team.

After so many near-misses, Zalatoris picked up his first PGA Tour victory by defeating Sepp Straka in a playoff at the FedEx St. Jude Championship on Aug. 14.

The former Wake Forest star was in third position in the FedEx Cup Playoffs points standings and was slated to start three strokes behind leader Scottie Scheffler in his first appearance in the Tour Championship, which begins Thursday.

Zalatoris won’t be replaced in the 30-man field at East Lake and will receive a $500,000 bonus. The winner of the FedEx Cup championship receives $18 million.

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