AUGUSTA, Ga. — Zach Johnson grinded during his 27 holes Friday at the Masters.
Johnson and his group made up for the nearly two-hour rain delay Thursday and resumed their first round on the back nine at 7:30 a.m. Friday. After a long day of golf, the 44-year-old sits just inside the projected cut line at even par with half the field still needing to finish their second rounds early Saturday.
Johnson started his Friday with a 1-over 37 on the back nine. His 20-foot birdie on 18 elicited a fist pump and ensuing fist bump with his veteran caddie Brian Smith.
That putt got him to 1-over for the tournament and Johnson’s afternoon 1-under 71 included five birdies in his first 12 holes and a couple key pars on the last two to stay right inside the projected cut line.
Johnson will have to wait out what figures to be softer morning conditions for the remaining players, and that cut line might go up and leave Johnson out. The second round resumes at 6:30 a.m. CT Saturday and, after a cut is made, third-round play would resume at 9:30 a.m.
While he walked the course on a break from his ESPN broadcasting duties, two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North spoke to The Gazette about how he sees Zach Johnson and Augusta National matching up over the years.
“Zach proves that you don’t have to be a long hitter to score on these par 5s as he did when he won (2007),” North said. “He’s a good player who’s figured out how to score here at Augusta and it’s good to see him out here again this year.”
It’s good for golf fans to see Johnson and all the players this year playing the Masters again at Augusta National (at least on TV). COVID-19 has postponed and canceled many sporting events but the Masters tradition continues this week and looks amazing with all the fall colors mixed into Augusta National’s familiar fairways and tree lines.
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Garrett Johnston has covered golf for 10 years and also hosts the Beyond the Clubhouse golf podcast.