May 22 2013
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- A year ago, on the 72nd hole, Zach Johnson suffered a penalty for improperly marking his ball before his final putt. It cost him two strokes. It did not cost him the tournament.
It did cost him good-natured ribbing for the next 365 days.
"You can say that," he said.
Johnson won the 2012 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial thanks to having a three-shot lead over Jason Dufner going to the final hole on Sunday. On the putting surface, Johnson's ball was in the line of Dufner's putt, so Johnson moved his ball marker ... then forgot to move it back when it came time to putt out.
Johnson's margin of victory went from three shots to one. He took full responsibility for the miscue, making fun of himself and smiling whenever anybody brought up the incident.
"I probably wouldn't be laughing as much if it influenced the outcome," he said. "Once again, I made a mistake. Live and learn."
During a charity event back in Johnson's hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ben Crane and Stewart Cink addressed the crowd about "Golf 101." Of course, they brought up how to properly mark the ball, then proceeded to bring out a marker the size of a hubcap, with the slogan, "Remember Colonial."
"I had some peers of mine that poked fun at me at pretty good length," Johnson said. "It was pretty good."
Johnson would love to go to the 72nd hole this week with a similar advantage. He'll be sure to properly mark his ball this time. And then perhaps the ribbing will finally go away.