April 12, 2019 / 6:29 PM / 2 months ago

Johnson left red faced after practice swing gaffe

Zach Johnson of the U.S. hits from the rough on the 2nd hole during second round play of the 2019 Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, U.S., April 12, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

AUGUSTA, Ga. (Reuters) - American Zach Johnson accidentally struck his ball during a practice swing on the 13th tee in the second round of the Masters on Friday, producing the kind of cringe-worthy moment every golfer dreads.

Johnson, giving his club a forceful swing through the air, clunked the ball into the marker, proving that even major champions can make silly mistakes.

“That’s a first. I thought I had done it all but now I know I’ve done it all,” Johnson said after his round.

Luckily, the 43-year-old emerged unscathed — pride not withstanding — as no penalty was applied and he went on to birdie the 13th hole.

“I was caught off guard,” Johnson said. “I actually hit a really good tee shot after that, so I think I recovered nicely.”

Johnson ended his second round with a 73, a slight improvement over his day-one score of 74, as he aims for a repeat of his Masters-winning performance 12 years ago.

As for repeating his 13th-hole gaffe today?

“I don’t think I could do it again if I even tried,” Johnson said.

Reporting By Amy Tennery, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Toby Davis

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