AUGUSTA, Ga. — Zach Johnson finished his 14th Masters with a final round even-par 72 to end the week tied for 36th at 2-over par for the tournament.
Johnson began the week in serious contention after day one and ended the event a healthy 17 shots behind this year’s winner, Patrick Reed.
For all the frustration Johnson emitted Sunday, he realizes the aspects of his game that cost him a chance to be in the hunt for a second green jacket.
“Short game was what cost me,” Johnson said. “Putting, chipping, pitching, are the aspects that I’ve got to work on. That’s the beauty of this tournament, it highlights your weaknesses and it’s not even remotely questionable what my issues were the last 3 1/2, four days.”
Johnson broke par but one day out of the four, during his opening round when he was very much a part of the leaderboard, finishing that day four behind the lead.
“I played good enough to shoot under par every day, so that’s what’s frustrating,” Johnson said.
Regardless of his frustrating play this week Johnson returned to the place where he won his first major. And not being in the hunt allowed him to view his final round in a different light than if he was seriously contending, though he has to balance his competitive mentality with his enjoyment of Augusta National’s epic beauty.
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“It’s always emotional (playing Augusta) but you’ve got to throw it away more or less and get down to your job,” Johnson said. “In between shots you get caught up in it a little bit but there’s probably nothing wrong with that just because of how special it is, certainly with the positive vibes you’ve had here in the past.
“There’s nothing wrong with that but as a competitor you’ve got to discard that and get down to business.”
The next major heads to Long Island for the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, a place Johnson played in 2004.
“It’s an awesome venue, it’s one of the best we have in the world, let alone the states,” Johnson said. “Two of the best pieces of ground are the one we’re standing on right now and that one on Long Island as far as I’m concerned.”
Not a bad place to look forward to playing for a man who will look to add the third leg of the career grand slam.