Sport: How an injured coach helped Will Zalatoris win 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship

2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship Thursday tee times, TV and streaming info

  2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship Thursday tee times, TV and streaming info It's time for the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The first event of the PGA Tour's 2021-22 playoffs is this week at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee. The Ron Prichard-design is a par-70 course measuring at 7,243 yards. Tony Finau won the first playoff event last year,…The first event of the PGA Tour’s 2021-22 playoffs is this week at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee. The Ron Prichard-design is a par-70 course measuring at 7,243 yards.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Josh Gregory watched it all from the clubhouse, watched as the FedEx St. Jude Championship went bonkers, his leg propped up with an ice pack because he might have torn a calf muscle.

2022 Wyndham Championship © Provided by Golfweek 2022 Wyndham Championship

He watched Will Zalatoris almost hit his tee shot into someone’s backyard on the second playoff hole. He watched Sepp Straka almost hit his tee shot into the water, so close to the edge that he took off his shoes, rolled up his pants and thought about hitting the most important shot of his career shin-deep in a TPC Southwind pond.

He watched perhaps the most delightfully bizarre ending in Memphis professional golf history when Zalatoris and Straka needed a third playoff hole to decide the first FedEx Cup Playoffs event this city has hosted.

FedEx St. Jude Championship 2022 best bets: Props, sleepers, head-to-head golf matchups, one and done picks

  FedEx St. Jude Championship 2022 best bets: Props, sleepers, head-to-head golf matchups, one and done picks Mike McClure studied the 2022 FedEx Cup Playoffs field and locked in his long shots, prop bets, sleepers, one and done picks and best betsOWINGS MILLS, MARYLAND - AUGUST 27: Bryson DeChambeau of the United States plays his shot from the second tee during the second round of the BMW Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club on August 27, 2021 in Owings Mills, Maryland.

He watched another Zalatoris tee shot bounce multiple times on the bricks surrounding the par-3 11th, the ball lodging itself improbably between the edge of the rough and the masonry. He then watched Straka do almost the exact same thing, except his ball bounced in the water.

He watched it all with perhaps as much emotion as Zalatoris, the 25-year-old who won the first PGA Tour event of his career Sunday at the FedEx St. Jude Championship after finishing runner-up so often during his young career.

That’s because Gregory is Zalatoris’s coach who he grew up in Bartlett, Tennessee and won a state championship at Christian Brothers High School. Gregory won a city amateur title, played on this same course, while in college at SMU. His father, Jim, passed away on New Year’s Eve and he stayed this week with his mother.

Opinion: As LIV Golf hovers, PGA Tour and FedEx St. Jude Championship have something in common

  Opinion: As LIV Golf hovers, PGA Tour and FedEx St. Jude Championship have something in common MEMPHIS — Leave it to the father of a cancer survivor to put the melodrama consuming professional golf into perspective. You remember Dakota Cunningham, right? He was the Olive Branch kid who had Jim Nantz eating out of the palm of his hand on the CBS broadcast when…You remember Dakota Cunningham, right?

“I couldn’t dream of anything better. This is home. It’ll always be home,” Gregory said. “To see him win at home, you can’t write a better script.”

Let’s be honest, though: Nobody would have thought of this. Nobody would have considered the drama that unfolded, drama the PGA Tour would be wise to latch onto as its feud with the LIV Golf series evolves this offseason because few even remember who won the first events on that competing circuit. Let Memphis be your guide in how to fight this battle.

It started seven hours before Zalatoris and Straka arrived at the 11th green for the 75th hole of the tournament.

Cam Smith, the latest rumored defection for LIV, was given a two-stroke penalty for improper ball placement on the fourth hole Saturday. Conspiracy theories ensued, even as the PGA Tour quickly sent out a rules official who gave a perfectly reasonable explanation for what happened.

Controversy is alive and well at FedEx St. Jude Championship. So are the kids with cancer.

  Controversy is alive and well at FedEx St. Jude Championship. So are the kids with cancer. MEMPHIS, Tenn. — They’re all alive 10 years later. All 10 of them. One is even getting married. Allie Allen flashed her engagement ring on stage Wednesday morning with the other St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital patients who’ve had a FedEx Purple Eagle plane…Allie Allen flashed her engagement ring on stage Wednesday morning with the other St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital patients who’ve had a FedEx Purple Eagle plane named in their honor over the past 10 years. It’s about how long it has been since Allen was first diagnosed with cancer.

Was Smith singled out because he might soon be leaving? Why did the PGA Tour wait until about 70 minutes before Smith’s final round to ask him about the interpretation of the rules?

It threatened to overshadow whatever else happened on an afternoon in which a win would have propelled Smith to No. 1 in the world ranking.

But then Zalatoris and Straka began to take turns trying to throw away the biggest achievement of their career, a sequence of events that was as sensational as it was non-sensical.

There were the dual images on No. 18, of Zalatoris punching out from the pine needles and brush directly in front of the backyard of a Southwind mansion and Straka debating whether to go swimming. Then came those tee shots on No. 11, the Island Hole.

You should have heard the crowd, screaming with each bounce Zalatoris’s ball took before erupting when it nestled inches from falling into the water. They did it again when Straka’s ball bounced several more times, and then got wet.

Zalatoris then deliberated for several minutes with his caddie, and there’s a story there, too. This is the first tournament Joel Stock has been on Zalatoris’s bag. Of course, they had to deal with perhaps the most pressure-packed decision Zalatoris has ever faced right off the bat.

Will Zalatoris finds groove with new caddie, notches second-straight sub-66 round

  Will Zalatoris finds groove with new caddie, notches second-straight sub-66 round It seems Will Zalatoris needed approximately one round to establish on-course trust with veteran looper Joel Stock. © Provided by Golf Channel No. 12 in the season standings, Zalatoris opened the FedEx St. Jude Championship with a 1-over 71, including two bogeys and a double bogey. It was a round he described as “the worst luck I think I’ve had my entire professional career.” In short: not the best start. Full-field scores from FedEx St. Jude Championship Fast forward to Saturday evening, and the 25-year-old standout was ending the day at T-3 overall with an 11-under 199.

Straka had already taken a penalty shot, hit into a greenside bunker and punched out to within a few feet. If Zalatoris tried to chip that wedged ball, he risked it bouncing back into the water. If he got it out successfully, the tournament was his — barring that very possible disaster. If he took a penalty shot, he’d still potentially have a putt for the win.

“Being 25 and a little dumb, I probably would have gone for it,” Zalatoris said. Stock “talked me out of it.”

Gregory knew he would. He had caddied for Zalatoris at last week’s Wyndham Championship, as the golfer sifted through 50 different caddies who approached wanting to work with him.

But Gregory was helpless back in the clubhouse. He felt his calf pop during a fist-pumping celebration once Zalatoris sank a 10-foot putt for par when he played No. 18 the first time, a putt that ultimately helped send the tournament to a playoff.

“I’m too old to be doing that. It hurts. It really hurts,” Gregory said.

But by then Zalatoris was accepting the trophy on the 18th green. “It feels a lot better now,” Gregory noted.

“If you see a guy limping around,” Zalatoris joked, “that’s my coach.”

And he grew up here.

So the rising star who finally broke through and the Bartlett native feeling pain in more ways than one both cried when it was over, an unlikely tale of golf in Memphis they needed as much as the PGA Tour.

Fernando Tatis Jr. has to build back trust after devastating suspension. Plus, a crazy ending on the PGA Tour

  Fernando Tatis Jr. has to build back trust after devastating suspension. Plus, a crazy ending on the PGA Tour Tatis Jr. received an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a PEDLet's get right to it.

MORE:

Winner's Bag: Will Zalatoris, 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship

U.S. Women's Amateur: Japan's Saki Baba routs Canada's Monet Chun in final at Chambers Bay

2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship prize money payouts for each PGA Tour player at TPC Southwind

Watch: Sepp Straka finds the water, Will Zalatoris flirts with disaster on third playoff hole at FedEx St. Jude Championship

Will Zalatoris defeats Sepp Straka in wild playoff to win FedEx St. Jude Championship

Watch: Walk-off single lifts Hawaii to LLWS title over Curacao .
Kama Angell won it for Hawaii, hitting an RBI single, driving in Ruston Hiyoto clinching the championship via the 10-run rule. West Region takes the banner! pic.twitter.com/yTKBP8yzCv— Little League (@LittleLeague) August 28, 2022 Angell finished the day 4-for-4 with 6 RBI off two singles, a double, and a home run. In the bottom of the first inning, Angell and Kekoa Payanal helped set the tone, smashing back-to-back long balls. Hawaii is here for the party Back✌️Back homers in the bottom of the first #LLWS pic.twitter.

See also