Pro bizarrely hits ‘5 inches’ behind ball, and he and analysts lose it

Mike Lorenzo-Vera on Saturday on the 4th tee at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club.

Golf Channel

Mike Lorenzo-Vera, on Saturday, during the Korea Championship third round, from the tee on the 386-yard, par-4 4th at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in South Korea, hit his fairway metal only 75 yards. 

It dropped onto one of the forward tees. 

It was a mishit. 

But that is absolutely, positively not the story here. 

Yes, on these pages from time to time, the unfortunate is spotlighted. Most of us here are not pros. Or all that good even. And so we relish when the best of the best of the best come to our 75-yards-off-the-tee, mishit level. Which is maybe why what followed Lorenzo-Vera’s flub is oh-so very good.  

He laughed it off. Hysterically. Kinda like me and you. 

And that green-lighted some of the best commentary you’ll hear too. 

To start, Lorenzo-Vera had even pulled into a share of the lead with a birdie a hole earlier. Golf Channel analyst Jay Townsend then warned viewers that the 4 tee shot was not easy. There was left-to-right wind. There was water on the left side of the hole. Lorenzo-Vera, a 38-year-old Frenchman who’s won just over $6 million in his career, hit. His backswing was abbreviated. The contact made an odd sound. Noted above is where his ball fell. 

He laughed. A “oh, ho, ho.” 

He put his right hand on his nose and lowered his head. 

He looked up and covered his mouth. 

He dropped his head onto the butt of his club and laughed some more. 

He turned to his playing partner, Antoine Rozner, and laughed. 

He walked off the tee box and laughed. 

At the back of the box, he lowered his head again and laughed. 

His caddie laughed. 

At this point, you maybe are. When it all happened, the Golf Channel commentary team of Townsend, Tony Johnstone and Alison Whittaker joined in. 

Said Johnstone: “You won’t see too many of those.” 

Said Whittaker: “He couldn’t even do that as a trick shot.” 

Said Johnstone: “I thought maybe he had just skied it, but it’s just an out-and-out duff.” 

Said Whittaker: “I think it might be a bit of both, Tony.” 

Said Johnstone: “Five inches behind it. What can you do? Just a mechanical failure. It happens. Just got to laugh about it.” 

Said Whittaker: “He can almost feel his mates rewinding and recording right now.” 


From there, Lorenzo-Vera hit his second shot to about 75 yards short of the green, pitched on and two-putted for a bogey. The third round was suspended due to darkness on Saturday, and he’ll start Sunday five shots out of the lead. 

“I tell you what,” Johnstone said on the broadcast after Lorenzo-Vera finished the 4th, “five is going to be a success story here. A little shake of the head. That definitely could have been worse. 

“And you know what, that’s his bad shot out of the way for the day.”

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at