Rocket Mortgage Classic: Will Zalatoris suddenly withdraws mid round

Will Zalatoris came into Saturday’s round at 7-under and just six shots off the Rocket Mortgage Classic leaders.

However, after eight holes, the former Wake Forest Demon Deacon withdrew from the tournament. Zalatoris was 3-over through eight when he chose to pull out.

The PGA Tour communications team cited a back injury as the reason for his withdrawal. However, CBS Sports analyst Amanda Balionis reported that Zalatoris’ hip caused him to withdraw from the tournament.

He told her he felt a “pop” in his hip on his “good side.” Zalatoris told her he felt like playing four weeks in a row caught up to him. The No. 42 golfer in the world played in the Memorial, U.S. Open, and Travelers Championship.

His agent, Allen Hobbs, released a statement about Zalatoris’ departure, per Jeanna Trotman, a Detroit sports anchor.

“Will experienced some discomfort after a swing today and out of utmost precaution, made the tough decision to withdraw,” the statement read. “It’s important that he listens to his body and gets some rest. He hates to withdraw from the Rocket Mortgage Classic and looks forward to getting back out on the course soon.

He has won one PGA Tour event in his short career — the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship. Zalatoris had a microdiscectomy in April 2023 for herniated disks in his back, which caused him to sit out the remainder of the season.

Zalatoris cited earlier this year that Tiger Woods helped him cope with the back injury during his rehab.

The Dallas resident played in 15 events this season and made 11 cuts. He finished tied ninth at The Masters but has not finished inside the top 40 in the eight starts since. Zalatoris withdrew from the Byron Nelson in March when the back injury flared up, so this is not the first time he has chosen to be safe about it.

It is uncertain when his next event will be, but it seems the choice to withdraw was precautionary.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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