Former champion Zach Johnson left red faced after Masters practice swing gaffe

Getty Images

Getty Images

Under USGA rules, Johnson was allowed to re-tee without penalty because it was not intentional.

"Yeah, that was a good one there", Johnson said.

Under United States Golf Association rules, a ball isn't considered to be "in play" until it's actually hit from the tee area. Had Johnson meant to hit the ball and simply whiffed, it would have counted as a stroke, but because he was clearly taking a practice swing - as evident by the fact that he had yet to "address", or set up behind the ball - he was allowed to re-tee and take his drive without penalty.

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

But Johnson is adamant he will not the suffer the same misfortune on Saturday, as he said: "I don't think I could do it again if I even tried".

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The 13th tee is the quietest corner of Augusta National's course with no spectator close enough to see Johnson's mishap but it didn't go unnoticed by his playing partners Matt Kuchar and Ian Poulter and millions of fans watching at home.

"He doesn't let me forget many things", Johnson said, "But, hey, you get what you deserve".

Unfortunately for Johnson, his weekend prospects look slim after two consecutive bogeys on the final two holes of his round have left him looking very vulnerable at +3, with current leaders Francesco Molinari and Jason Day sharing the clubhouse lead at -7. "I thought I'd done it all, but now I know I have".

"Only if I've been drinking", Kisner said.

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