A 23-year-old Connecticut native got the chance to play with some of the best golfers in the world at the Travelers Championship.
Zach Zaback is a recent University of Connecticut graduate who grew up in Farmington and on Thursday. He was playing in the Travelers Championship.
Zaback played in a tournament on Monday and did so well that he qualified to play in the Travelers Championship.
Every year, the officials at the Travelers Championship give local talent the chance to qualify.
"I was hoping to do pretty well,” Zaback said. “My expectations were pretty high."
Zaback was feeling good the day before the Travelers Championship tournament. He lost in the playoffs last year trying to qualify.
"You're playing against some pretty heavy hitters in the golf world,” Zaback said. “Yeah, it’s a really big field this year. A lot of big names, so this is pretty exciting for me."
Zaback grew up in Farmington, but his family recently moved to the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell. Zaback said he plays a lot of golf, but it was at UConn where he really got the bug.
Dave Pezzino was and is still is Zaback's coach.
"It was just a matter of time. He needed to get a start,” Pezzino said. “And it’s almost unheard of to get your first PGA tour start at your home course."
Zaback said he plays “Pretty much every day.”
“I’ll take a day off once in a while, but golf pretty much takes up my life right now,” Zaback said.
On the big first day of the tournament, Zaback started off pretty well, but by the 17th hole, he was losing ground and was 7 over par. He rebounded a little and finished the day with plus 6.
Zaback admitted he was a bit nervous playing up against the best of the best.
"it was a bit surreal out there, kind of out of the moment sometimes like wow,” Zaback said. “I am actually playing in the Travelers - see the big names - see some of the big crowds."
Zaback said playing on Thursday made him realize how good the pros are. He was able to compete but has a way to go, especially under pressure. Zaback said he enjoyed the moment and knows what he needs to work on, putting.
Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.