Masters notebook: Zach Johnson’s practice swing doesn’t miss the ball

Zach Johnson accidentally hits ball during practice swingMore

Zach Johnson accidentally hits ball during practice swingMore

According to a new rule, because there was "no intent" to hit the ball, Johnson does not receive a penalty on the hole.

As Johnson's group informed him, there was no penalty for the freaky gaffe because it clearly happened while he was taking a practice swing.

The key reason that Johnson's mishit didn't count as a stroke comes down to two things - the contact was unintentional, and the ball was not yet in play.

Johnson inadvertently hit the ball on his practice swing, sending it caroming off the tee marker on the right.

After the initial shock the Englishman said Johnson saw the amusing side.

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"Zach's eyes were as big as I've ever seen them".

Johnson's actual drive went 285 yards down the middle of the fairway, and he knocked his approach shot on the green and two-putted for an easy birdie on the par-5. "Maybe I've tried to do it, but I don't think I could do it again even if I tried".

His playing partners, Ian Poulter and Matt Kuchar, were also shocked, although the former admitted that he did not see what had happened as he was getting a drink out of his bag. The 2007 Masters champ bounced back in the early going on his second round, moving to one-over par on several occasions.

"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. "His jaw dropped and we had a good chuckle knowing that wasn't a penalty, but a not-so-top-10 moment".

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