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ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Zach Johnson missed the cut Friday after a 3-over 75 in his return to the site of his emotional second major win in 2015 this week in the 150th Open at St. Andrews.
Johnson finished 3-over for the championship with that 75 after an even-par 72 Thursday.
“I’m so fresh right now, I have no idea (about my takeaways)” Johnson said. “I’m so frustrated.”
Conditions changed subtly from Thursday when the ball was rolling out an irregular amount, even for links golf. Johnson’s good friend Stewart Cink called it “extreme links golf” Thursday.
For Johnson, the opening stretch felt comparable though to Thursday.
“It was similar going out for the first five holes and when we were on five fairway the wind did a 150-degree switch on our second shots as we were waiting there,” Johnson said. “So it went from in off the left at 10:30-11 o’clock to 4 o’clock down off the right in a matter of seconds. We knew it was coming but it switched like that and the temperature dropped and the wind switched, which can happen out here.”
Did that change the difficultly in front of Johnson the rest of the way?
“It doesn’t mean it was any easier or harder, it just switched. Other than that the conditions were pretty similar, a little less wind.”
How does one adapt to a big change like that, a variable that the field may not have prepared themselves for?
“You’ve just got to keep your feet right where they are. We didn’t play a practice round with that wind so it was a little foreign, but I’ve played here in four championships before, so I’ve seen every wind. It was just different than our preparation,” Johnson said.
If Johnson could use a mulligan on one part of his game this week, the 46-year-old’s answer was clear and simple.
“Lag putting, both with not hitting it hard enough and hitting it too hard,” he said.