Journeyman shoots lowest score,
highest winning number in history
Congratulations, Zach Johnson, you just won the worst Masters Tournament ever played.
Not to take anything away from the 31-year-old journeyman, but his victory won’t be remembered for stellar play, or miracle shots, or even
gutty determination. Anyone who recalls the 71st Masters at all beyond, say, September, will think only about the boring week of generally awful golf.
How bad was it? Consider:
* Johnson’s score of 1-over 289 matched the highest-ever winning number, posted by Sam Snead in 1954 and Jack Burke in 1956. That’s more than 50 years ago, folks. That’s pre-metalwood, pre-graphite shafts, pre-Pro V1x, pre-Jack Nicklaus, pre-Tiger Woods, pre-Golf Channel, pre-HDTV, heck pre-television!
* 11 players from the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking missed the cut, while three players from the over-50 Official Geezer Golf Ranking made the cut. (Sergio Garcia, you’ve got some ’splainin’ to do!)
* 75-year-old Arnold Palmer, who struck the ceremonial opening tee shot Thursday, hit as many fairways — one — as contender Justin Rose hit on the 17th hole Sunday. Problem is, the fairway Rose hit was on No. 15. (Double bogey, thanks for coming.)
* Woods tied for second without breaking par in any round. He played the par-5s on the “second nine” in 6-under, but twice went bogey-bogey on Nos. 17 and 18. Nicklaus’ record for major championships is still comfortable.
* Retief Goosen made the cut on the number, thanks to the 10-shot rule, then shot 5-under on the weekend and didn’t win. Then again, Brett Wetterrich (83-77), Arron Oberholser (84-76), and Billy Mayfair (83-77) shot 16-over on Saturday and Sunday, and they didn’t win, either. Fuzzy Zoeller — one of the geezers — finished with 17-over (79-82) and promptly went in search of a gin and tonic.
* Two guys named Singh played together on Sunday. One shot 73 and was mad — as always. The other shot 79 and was just happy to be there. Millions of other Singhs the world over didn’t care one way or the other.
* An Augusta favorite son was in contention for most of the week, except it was Vaughn Taylor — lesser known than Johnson — and not Charles Howell III.
* Two former teammates from golf powerhouse Brigham Young University played together on Sunday. One is a righty, the other left-handed. Neither won. You figure it out.
* The defending champion spent more time in the bushes than the original nurserymen on the property. Phil Mickelson never shot par in four days.
* Davis Love III finished tied for 27. Oh, wait, that happens every year.
* U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy jumped into contention with an eagle on No. 13 Saturday. U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy fell out of contention with a quadruple-bogey 9 on No. 15 Saturday. G’day, mate.
* Some guy named Yong-Eun Yang was in the field. How is that even possible?
* None of the four amateurs made the cut. Oh, wait, that happens every year, too. (When will that charade end? Please spare us!)
So, Zach Johnson, way to go. You’re a nice guy, a good player, and now a Masters champion. Welcome to the club that includes Henry Picard, Herman Keiser, Doug Ford, Art Wall and Larry Mize.
Not the Masters' "Who's Who." Just the list of, "Who?"