An accident happens once in a lifetime. Isn’t it a strange coincidence that it happened twice?
Zach Johnson backed up his approach and went through his pre-shot routine again as he prepared to tee off on the boisterous 17th tee at TPC Scottsdale on Friday. He accidently popped his ball off the tee while casually gripping his driver. Johnson moved awkwardly after his ball as it rolled harmlessly to the left side of the tee box.
During the transmission, the announcer said, “Uh-oh!” “It was an accident, and he’ll be able to re-tee now.”
Walk of shame. 😆 pic.twitter.com/x5wDOlAblI
— PGA TOUR LIVE (@PGATOURLIVE) February 11, 2022
Yes, Johnson was aware of the restriction — and that he would not face any consequences. He’s done it previously (at least once).
On the 13th hole at Augusta National, he memorably clipped his ball with a practice swing. His ball ricocheted off the tee marker and bounced a few yards in front of him after hitting the toe of his driver. He’s not penalized because of Rule 6.2b 5, which specifies that if a player accidentally strikes the ball while swinging or preparing to perform a stroke, he’s not penalized.
Johnson bounced back from his blunder on Friday, ripping a drive short of the 17th green, pitching on, and making birdie. At the WM Phoenix Open, he was safely inside the cut line.