Sports

Zach Johnson has frustrating Saturday at Masters

Iowan is 1-over for tournament, tied for 52nd entering final round

Zach Johnson during the first round of the Masters golf tournament Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Matt
Zach Johnson during the first round of the Masters golf tournament Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Zach Johnson shot a 1-over 73 Saturday at the Masters, placing him at 1-over for the tournament and in a tie for 52nd, 17 shots behind leader Dustin Johnson.

Zach Johnson just hasn’t quite found his gear this week on a course that he’s not used to playing this time of year and in these extremely soft and low-scoring conditions.

“I’m pretty frustrated,” Johnson said. “My game’s not indicative of my score card. I’m not lipping putts in. That being said, somebody’s doing it. That’s what’s frustrating, I feel like my game is so much better than my score card.”

Johnson has often said that in the mental game of golf you need to take one shot at a time by forgetting about what your overall score is as you approach your shots.

But in this case, 54 holes of not getting as much as he’d expect from the way he’s playing is understandably annoying.

Johnson started on the more difficult back nine Saturday but set up a short eagle putt to get to 2-under on the par 5 No. 15. Johnson hit the lip from 8 feet and placed both hands on his waist in disbelief.

“I totally misread it,” Johnson said. “It actually went left. I thought it was going to go right. I barely took a backstroke on that one because it was really fast. Obviously, I was still happy to come away with a four (birdie).”

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The 44-year-old made the turn at even-par 36. He ran into a mistake on the par-4 third hole. A downhill birdie putt from 15 feet raced by and he walked away with a three-putt bogey.

Johnson finished his second nine at 1-over 37.

“Well, I’ve got one more day, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing,” Johnson said. “I’m giving myself opportunities, that’s the bottom line. I can’t change my game plan just because of my score card. I’m going to try not to drive it into other people’s pitch-marks and I’m going to try not to plug it in the bunker when I hit it in the bunker. Other than that everything’s pretty good.”

Garrett Johnston is a freelance writer who’s covered 30 major championships. He also hosts the Beyond the Clubhouse podcast.

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