The Weak Field at the Byron Nelson Just Got Weaker as Will Zalatoris WDs

Will Zalatoris 2021 Masters Tournament Augusta National Golf Club
Will Zalatoris reacts to his putt on the sixth green during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2021 in Augusta, GA. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Tournament organizers at The CJ Cup Byron Nelson were already dealing with an unhappy title sponsor due to an historically poor field. Today, the longtime tour stop lost Will Zalatoris, who, along with Jordan Spieth, was being marketed as the event’s co-headliner.

Citing a still-recovering back issue, the 27-year-old Texan officially withdrew from his hometown tournament.

“I am frustrated to miss a tournament I’ve attended since I was nine years old,” he posted to social media. “The Nelson and the Salesmanship Club have been so great to me my entire playing career and I hope to win Mr. Nelson’s trophy someday.

“My back needs some rest and recovery. I am ahead of scheduled according to my doctors but unfortunately the first six months back are the most important for the long term health of my back. I need to be prudent to make sure I don’t miss a big chunk of time again.

“I hate that a flare up happened during one of my favorite weeks all year but we knew something like this was a possibility early on in my return to golf.”

Zalatoris is expected to tee it up in Charlotte next week for the Wells Fargo, one of the PGA Tour’s big-money ($20M) signature events. He will then head to Kentucky for the 2024 PGA Championship, the season’s second major.



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