PGA Tour Update: Will Zalatoris Exits Mexico Open in an Alarming Move

Published 02/18/2024, 11:22 PM EST

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via Reuters

Will Zalatoris has withdrawn from the Mexico Open at Vidanta. The news of his withdrawal was released on the PGA Tour Communications’ official Twitter handle. The PGAT did not reveal the reason behind his decision not to participate in the event; however, his sudden withdrawal can be linked to two reasons.

The recent death of a close family member and the pro’s choice to be with his family during this difficult time could be the reason behind his decision. Zalatoris revealed on the final day of the Riviera that he had unexpectedly lost a close family member three days earlier, after the opening round of the Genesis Invitational.

Another possible reason for Zalatoris’s exit from the Mexico Open could be his back injury, which had previously forced him to leave the 2023 season after the Masters in April. After his breakout victory at the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship that vaulted him to No. 7 in the world, Zalatoris suffered a back injury and was forced to take a hiatus. When he returned at the start of 2023, it was clear that he still wasn’t fully healthy. Doctors recommended that he undergo a microdiscectomy.


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On his return to PGA Tour at Riviera, he tied for second behind Hideki Matsuyama. Zalatoris had taken the lead in the closing rounds of the Genesis Invitational. However, Hideki Matsuyama snatched his chances of victory with nine birdies. The 27-year-old had to suffice with a runner-up finish and was three strokes away with a score of 14 under 270 from the leader. But for now he has decided to not participate at the Mexico Open. It would have been his fifth start in the 2024 season.

Mexico Open is the next stop on the PGA Tour at Vidanta Vallarta. The event is only two years old and will have the reigning champion, Tony Finau, defending his title.

It is a full-field event of the Tour and will have 132 players teeing up. As the field has fewer highly ranked golfers, it could be a breakthrough chance for any golfer to take his first win.


Amidst attempting a victory at the Riviera Country Club, Zalatoris was grieving the loss of a family member. In the post-match conference, he relayed that his family wouldn’t have been with him even if he had won. Regardless, after playing the event through these emotions, Zalatoris shared an important lesson he learned this week.


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Zalatoris shares important life lesson

Will Zalatoris knew about the death of a family member when he started the opening round at the Genesis Invitational. However, he pushed through his emotions and gave his best on the greens. The 27-year-old said, This whole week was for her.” While he was struggling to control his emotions, Zalatoris expressed that the death “was very unexpected.”

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However, even after the curve ball was thrown at him, he had learned to be grateful. Zalatoris said the unexpected nature of life “just shows you life’s short and appreciate the moments.” He had shared that his family was in Southwest and after the withdrawal, Zalatoris may join them there too.


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Written by:

Khambe Huda Imran


One take at a time

Huda Khambe is a Golf Writer for EssentiallySports. Growing up watching Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam bag one major after the other, Huda Khambe set herself on a path to becoming a sports writer early on. With a year of prior experience in writing, Huda now brings the greens to life with her unique insights on her favorite storylines, such as Jack Nicklaus's record rivalry with Tiger Woods and its impact on both stars.
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Edited by:

Tushhita Barua