Some player-caddie relationships are better than others, and when the partnership inevitably ends, it’s either a big relief for one or both of them, or it can be as upsetting as an actual divorce. Count Will Zalatoris’ split with looper Ryan Goble is closer to the latter.
Zalatoris and Goble decided on the most unusual split on Friday when they went their separate ways midway through the Wyndham Championship. Josh Gregory, a Zalatoris instructor, was on the sack Saturday at Sedgefield Country Club, and the 14th in the world shot a second straight 66 to tie for 15th.
As Zalatoris described it, the breakup was brutal. Really rough.
“It was the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my golfing career,” Zalatoris, 25, said after his third round that ended before a second weather delay. “Ryan is a brother for life. We had a difficult month together and it was starting to affect our relationship. I know guys say that when they break up, but it really was.
“We were guys that we would love to have dinner together and hang out. … What was going on the course was starting to bleed off the course and that’s not what you want. He’s an amazing friend, I love him to death and I told him I had to do what was best for me.
Gregory’s job is only for this weekend and Zalatoris said he will have Joel Stock on the bag for the upcoming PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoffs. Stock completed a decade for Ben Crane and most recently caddyed for Kevin Tway and Cameron Tringale.
Zalatoris is having a great season, even though he didn’t win. Among his three finalists are a playoff loss to Justin Thomas in the PGA Championship and a shot behind champion Matt Fitzpatrick at the US Open.
As for the last month the Californian native referred to, he missed the Scottish Open cup, finished tied for 28th in the Open Championship and was T-20 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. It was 11th in the FedEx ranking before this week.
On Saturday, Zalatoris’ round was triggered by a flop shot that followed the hole for a birdie at the par-4 11th. It was part of a 10 streak in which Zalatoris went bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie-birdie.