PGA Tour Players are human after all!
By mustang6560 on 5/29/12
Zach Johnson, who won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial for the second time in his professional career last Sunday, reminded us of one very important aspect of golf - the round is not over until the final putt drops.

On the final hole at Colonial, Jason Dufner, who was trailing by three strokes, asked Zach to move his ball mark. Jason wanted to go ahead and putt out so Zach could enjoy the moment. Zach was about to win his 8th PGA Tour title. The 2007 Masters champ obliged and moved his ball mark so Jason could putt out.

With the prospect of winning his 21st career title only moments away, Zach proved even season veterans on the PGA Tour are only human. In the emotion leading up to his final putt, Zach forgot to replace his ball mark to its original position so he holed out from the wrong spot, which is a violation of rule 20-7 and a two stroke penalty. Luckily for Zach, he had not signed his scorecard yet AND he was up by three strokes so history will only remember his moment of broken concentration as a side note to his victory instead of the forerunner to Jason's third win of the season.

I never want to see someone lose as a result of a mental error, however, it is nice to be reminded from time to time that even someone like Zach is still liable to make mistakes. His mistake also serves as a reminder to us amateurs to add some sort of element to our pre-shot routine to identify any instance when we move our ball mark from its original location. I am going to start flipping my ball mark upside down any time I move my ball mark to indicate that I need to move it back before I putt.

Image via Flickr, Keith Allison

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[ comments ]
bkuehn1952 says:
When I ask people to move their marker, I always tell them to move it back after I putt. Hard to imagine with the caddies and Dufner standing around that no one said anything to Johnson.
mantajim says:
Paint one side red!
mantajim says:
And 'Never Give Up.' Think of all the places Duffner could have saved just one stroke. Such as making that putt in which the marker was moved.
legitimatebeef says:
Sach Johnson is capable of human error. I am about to have another emotional shutdown. If we can no longer believe in the infallibility of middling golf pro's, then what can we believe in.
joe jones says:
As I understand it, the caddy was raking the trap and wasn,t aware of the situation. Dufner was walking away after missing the putt and assumed Johnson would replace his marker. Just an unfortunate situation.
Backquak says:
That's one tip I got a couple years ago from this site, to always mark my ball heads up and always mark it tails up if I move it that way when I come back I see the tails up, I'm reminded to move it back.
Spaceman_Spiff says:
A great tip I'll be putting into play now... Thank you for that.
jcstoll says:
What if Zach had missed that last putt? They would have gone into sudden death. Wild!
mmontisano says:
but does it really matter that much for us amateurs that don't play tournament golf? i really wouldn't care if my playing partner forgot to move his ball back to it's original position, unless there is money on the line. 1 putter head to the left or right isn't going to make me hole out or miss the putt any more or less than i usually do.
mmontisano says:
just have fun. that's all i'm saying.
QuickBrownFox says:
My marker is a triangle. I always mark with a point towards the hole, except when I move it, and then I put one of the flats towards the hole. Works just like the red side. You could put an arrow on the marker and it works just the same.
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