GREENSBORO, N.C. — Will Zalatoris began to meet the signature demands of the rows of Wyndham Championship spectators after the third round on Saturday, with coach-turned-balls a few feet away. Josh Gregory explains what he’s trying to offer during his emergency filling role.
“Hopefully a little smile,” Gregory said. “The most important thing is that he needs to laugh and smile. He needs to have fun. I think it’s just commitment. I’ve done my best with the coach and I’ve been very positive with him.”
That was in stark contrast to what happened after Zara Torres’ last round at Sedgefield Country Club on Friday, when he fired caddie Ryan Goble and called it “The hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my golf career.”
The former Wake Forest star and one of the world’s highest-ranked players shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to improve to 7-under in the tournament, five behind leaders Sungjae Im and Brandon Wu rod. Round three was suspended Saturday due to a storm and will resume on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET.
Zara Torres made eight birdies that day to recover from a double bogey on the second hole and two bogeys on the back nine, the first for his short game coach Gregory, 47. on the ball.
Zara Torres, 25, said Goble is the only caddie he has ever played on an accredited professional tour, adding that “he’s been basically my best friend for the past three years.” , he added, “it’s become a little unhealthy for both of us, and obviously it’s taking a toll on their relationship” – a collaboration that produced Eight times in the top 10including runners-up in the PGA Championship and U.S. Open, and more than $6.6 million in earnings this season.
“We had a rough month together and it started to affect our relationship,” he said. “I know people say it when they’re breaking up, but it’s true. We’re people who like to have dinner and hang out together, and what happens on the pitch starts to bleed off the pitch, and that’s not what you want.”
Zara Torres said Joel Stoke will caddie for him in the FedExCup playoffs, the PGA Tour playoffs that start next week in Memphis. Gregory said he served as Henry K Noland’s backup caddie at the Phoenix Open in February.
“It’s time for a change,” Gregory said of the rift between Zara Torres and Goble. “Honestly, it’s best for both of them. Changes are coming anyway, and it’s time to keep ripping off the Band-Aid.”
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Zara Torres opened the third round with a six-shot lead. Then, a wayward moment from the tee saw him double-bogey the second hole to 1 under.
“Even though he played a double on the second hole, I just said, ‘Hey, let’s see how many birdies we can get. Let’s have fun,'” Gregory said. “And that’s what he needs. Then he just needs a little extra commitment, a little extra faith in his decisions. So just tell him how good he is. It’s easy when you’re carrying his bag. He’s really good.”