Zach on his accidental swing: ‘A nice little 4-foot draw’
April 12, 2019
By Mike McAllister , PGATOUR.COM
- Zach Johnson had a nice laugh after a mishap on Friday at the Masters. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, Ga. – The first question posed to Zach Johnson after his second round Friday at the Masters focused on his warm-up swing that accidentally knocked his ball off its tee at the 13th hole, sending it a few feet away – and, of course, becoming a viral sensation once the highlight hit social media.
“Shoot, they got that?” Johnson replied.
Yes, Zach. It’s a new deal this week. Every shot of every player at the Masters … even when it’s not officially a shot.
“It's going to be quite funny, because we can actually have a look at the highlights and view it,” said Ian Poulter, one of Johnson’s two playing partners along with Matt Kuchar. “Have you guys seen it? On the re‑run? Love it. Can't wait.”
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The incident didn’t cost Johnson a stroke, since his swing was not intended to hit the ball. But the USGA made sure to clarify the ruling, tweeting out “since he had no intention of striking the ball, he has not made a stroke. On the teeing area, there is no penalty and the player simply re-tees because the ball is not yet in play.”
After re-teeing his ball (and after a few choice words directed at himself), Johnson found the fairway with his real drive and eventually birdied the par-5 hole en route to a 1-over 73 that left him at 3 over through 36 holes.
The incident did cost Johnson plenty of embarrassment, as well as a few chuckles from his competitors, who were more shocked at first to see it happen – especially at Augusta National, which takes its golf very serious.
Poulter and Kuchar tried not to react at first, but Johnson told them, “It’s OK, you can laugh.”
Said Poulter: “We were trying to hold it in, but … we had to let it out. It was great.”
Kevin Kisner, who finished in the group ahead of Johnson on Friday, was asked if he had ever hit a ball on a practice swing for his tee shot.
"No," he replied, before adding. "Maybe when I was drinking."
Even Johnson couldn’t avoid having a bit of fun at his own expense. His play-by-play of the incident? “Toe push into the tee marker and then, you know, it was a nice little 4-foot draw.”
Said Johnson: “I thought I had done it all but now I know I've done it all. … This is the first time I've done it. … My head wasn't even looking down, so it was one of those where I just wasn't paying attention to what was going on.”
Poulter said he’s done it before. “We’ve all done it,” he added.
But Johnson doesn’t figure he’ll hear the end of it anytime soon, especially with his good friend Kuchar as a prime witness.
“He doesn't let me forget many things,” Johnson said. “But, hey, you get what you deserve.”