Will Zalatoris arrived at the practice area 90 minutes before his tee time. After a thorough warm-up on the putting green, he worked his way through the short game area and then made is way to the driving range. Zalatoris wrapped up his session and started to make his way back across the player bridge. While crossing, he encountered Cameron (Cam) Young. The pair shared a fist bump.
Finalizing their prep on Sunday, each of them went about their business. Moments later, they connected on the 1st tee in advance of their penultimate tee time. They exchanged small talk, a couple laughs and a knowing nod.
Cam Young and Will Zalatoris are just a year apart in age. That’s probably the biggest thing that separates two of the brightest young stars on the PGA Tour. I remember meeting both gentlemen back in 2014. They were competing in the U.S. Junior Championship outside of Houston, Texas, which Zalatoris went on to win that year.
Recruited heavily from the first time they announced themselves on the junior golf scene, Will went to Wake Forest. Then one year later, Cam joined the Demon Deacons men’s golf team. The two were close as teammates; they even roomed together one year.
Will left school and headed to the Korn Ferry Tour. He managed a successful career with a win, 20 Top 25’s and 13 Top 10’s in 33 tournaments. Soon after Korn Ferry graduation, Zalatoris stunned the golf world with a runner-up finish at the 2021 Masters. A rookie had not put on a Green Jacket since 1979. He held his own on that Sunday afternoon.
Cam Young took a similar path. Soon after leaving Wake, he also joined the Korn Ferry Tour. In 28 tournaments, he managed 2 wins, 10 Top 25’s and 6 Top 10’s. Together the pair made 70% of their weekend rounds by successfully navigating the cutline while on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Cam earned his PGA Tour card this season. His name really reached our radar in February when he secured his second runner-up finish at the Genesis Invitational. To date, the two have played in 66 PGA Tour events and share 19 Top-10 finishes.
Today the two embarked on another Sunday of golf together. One from Texas and the other from New York. They share a common dream… Developed at home, enhanced in Winston-Salem and now tested in Tulsa. Two men who both sit inside the Top-40 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
While I’m not sure if either will win, I can promise you this -- Based on the similar trajectory of their careers, why wouldn’t they be paired together when one of their dreams might just come true.