Will Zalatoris has withdrawn from the BMW Championship after suffering a lower back injury as he aims to ensure his fitness for a tilt at the upcoming Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Zalatoris – who moved to the top of the FedEx Cup standings by claiming his first Tour-level triumph at the FedEx St. Jude Championship last week – was forced to withdraw midway through Saturday's third round at the Wilmington Country Club.

The 26-year-old has finished as a runner-up at two majors this year, following up 2021's second-placed finish at the Masters by coming close to victory at both the US PGA Championship and the U.S. Open.

Zalatoris was four under for the tournament when he tweaked his back on the third hole in North Carolina, and his manager Allen Hobbs said his hopes of participating in the FedEx Cup finale were key to the decision to drop out.

"He felt that it was best to withdraw from the BMW Championship so he can work with his trainer the next few days to get the inflammation to calm down," Hobbs said.

"Will looks forward to playing next week in Atlanta."

Zalatoris, who moved to ninth in the world rankings with his long-awaited victory last Sunday, had trailed leader Adam Scott by five shots at the halfway stage of the BMW Championship.