AUGUSTA, Ga. — Zach Johnson won the 2007 Masters largely because he used a strategy of laying up, or deliberately hitting shots short, on par-5 holes. But his strategy back then never included anything like this.
On the par-5 13th Friday, Johnson’s tee shot traveled six feet forward, after having gone both right and left. He was taking a practice swing when he accidentally clipped the ball and saw it carom off the tee marker and head back in the other direction. It did not cost him a stroke — there was no intent to hit a shot, so he was allowed to retrieve he ball and tee it up again. He did make birdie.
He also became an instant internet sensation, earning a place in the blooper video hall of fame. “I thought I had done it all, but now I know I’ve done it all,” he said.
“Oh, it was a beauty,” said Ian Poulter, who was playing with Johnson and Matt Kuchar. “He backed off and said, `No, no guys, it’s OK. You can laugh.’ I mean, we were trying to hold it in.”
DeChambeau ‘hates’ it
Bryson DeChambeau, the first-round co-leader, was alone in front at 7 under through eight holes Friday. Then he made two bogeys and a double bogey in a four-hole stretch, eventually ending the day at 3 under.
“That’s the game of golf,” he said, “and that’s why I love it, but I also hate it at the same time.”
Turtle on the 16th
There was a sort of tortoise-and-the-hare situation for some golfers. Kevin Kisner’s threesome endured slow going on the back nine because the group ahead — Vijay Singh, Billy Horschel and Jovan Rebula — was going at such a tardy pace that it was put on the clock. Then at the 16th hole, a turtle actually found its way onto the green.
“Well, we ran him off before we teed off, and then when we putted he was back on the green,” said Kisner, who shot 73 to finish the day at 2 under. “I think he moseyed off by the time we finished. He didn’t know what was going on.”