Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Johnson left red faced after practice swing gaffe

Watch: Zach Johnson Accidentally Hits Ball on Practice Swing at the Masters Watch: Zach Johnson accidentally hits ball with practice swing at Masters
Cassandra Castillo | 15 April, 2019, 00:57

It was a lucky escape for the former Masters champion, as the rules take into account intention to make a legitimate stroke.

AUGUSTA, Ga. - It was a practice swing unlike any other.

On Friday, Zach Johnson provided what may be the greatest "pros, they're just like us!" moment in recent memory, and it came at one of the sport's most recognizable stages: the 13th hole at Augusta National. It was so bad that it richocheted off the tee marker then popped in the air right in front of him.

"I was caught off guard", Johnson said.

"I don't think I could do it again if I even tried", Johnson said.

More news: Kevin Durant, Patrick Beverley ejected from chippy Warriors win over Clippers

Only his pride was hurt, since he was able to re-tee without a penalty because he did not intend to move the ball. Had Johnson meant to hit the ball and simply whiffed, it would have counted as a stroke, but because he was clearly taking a practice swing - as evident by the fact that he had yet to "address", or set up behind the ball - he was allowed to re-tee and take his drive without penalty.

Johnson's actual drive went 285 yards down the middle of the fairway, and he knocked his approach shot on the green and two-putted for an easy birdie on the par-5. "I actually hit a really good tee shot after that, so I think I recovered nicely".

Matt Kuchar, who also appeared in the group, wouldn't let Johnson forget his gaffe.

Johnson, whose round of 73 left him 3 over for the tournament, said he knew there wasn't a penalty involved because "it all comes down to intent".

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