Watch: Will Zalatoris wins maiden PGA Tour title in dramatic three-hole play-off

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Watch: Will Zalatoris wins maiden PGA Tour title in dramatic three-hole play-off - GETTY IMAGES
Watch: Will Zalatoris wins maiden PGA Tour title in dramatic three-hole play-off - GETTY IMAGES

Will Zalatoris silenced his critics by claiming his maiden PGA Tour victory in a dramatic playoff at the FedEx St Jude Championship.

The American defeated Austria's Sepp Straka in three extra holes at TPC Southwind - despite not making a birdie.

Zalatoris carded a four-under round of 66 to tie Straka on 15-under, three clear of the rest of the field, which featured a clutch putt on the 72nd hole to ensure he remained in a share of the lead and guarantee a play-off.

After holing out, Zalatoris turned to his caddie and bellowed “What are they going to say now?”, in response to recent criticism when he has been unable to convert strong positions into victories.

The pair matched each other in the playoff by twice making par on 18.

Things then opened up on the par-three 11th, when Zalatoris hit his tee shot onto the rocks courting the green. His ball bounced six times on the water ledge, but somehow remained out of the drink, though its final position did mean that the American would need to take an unplayable drop.

However, Straka's tee shot ended up in the water, leaving a slight window for Zalatoris to strike.

He did just that, sinking a seven-foot bogey putt to clinch the first of what is sure to be many Tour wins.

Speaking to media after his victory, Zalatoris said: "It's kind of hard to say 'about time' when you're in your second year on Tour but (it's) about time.

"Considering all the close finishes that I've had this year, to finally pull it off means a lot."

It capped off what had already been a dramatic final round. Cameron Smith's bid for world No 1 was dealt a blow before play began on Sunday, when he was assessed a two-shot penalty for playing from the wrong place on the fourth hole in round three.

Victory in Memphis would have propelled the Australian past Scottie Scheffler and to the top of the PGA rankings, but he ended up in a tie for 13th after a final round to par.