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The Open Qualifying Series

Zalatoris books Open return


Fit-again American qualifies at Bay Hill

Will Zalatoris at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard

Will Zalatoris has more reason than most to be excited for The 152nd Open.

A back injury ruined 2023 for the richly talented American, ruling him out of all four majors.

However, Zalatoris can look forward to teeing it up at Royal Troon in July after claiming the sole qualifying spot available at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, part of The Open Qualifying Series.

A joint fourth-place finish at Bay Hill was enough for the 27-year-old, with runaway tournament winner Scottie Scheffler, runner-up Wyndham Clark and the third-placed Shane Lowry already exempt for Troon.

Zalatoris, who has regained form impressively after his lengthy lay-off, finished with a level-par 72 on Sunday, enough to share fourth with another already-exempt player in Russell Henley.

Will Zalatoris at the 2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard

Will Zalatoris escapes from a bunker at the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Having booked his spot at Troon, Zalatoris is eager to mount a serious challenge for the Claret Jug. His 10 major appearances to date have included runner-up finishes in the Masters, US Open and PGA Championship, as well as three other top-eight placings.

However, his best Open finish to date is a tie for 28th at St Andrews in 2022.

“I love it. It's so different - I love the challenge,” said Zalatoris of links golf. “The Open Championship, it’s just special.

“I embrace hard golf courses, so I’m hoping for some rich Scottish weather when we get over there.

“To be in all four majors (so soon after returning from injury) is pretty special and I’m looking forward to getting some vengeance in The Open.”

The next event in the Open Qualifying Series is the Mizuno Open, played from 23-26 May at JFE Setonaikai in Okayama, Japan.

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