AUGUSTA, Ga. — Come for the cold shank. Stay for the response.
There’s Luke List and his caddie, Jeffrey Willett. They’re stationed to the right of the greenside bunker on the par-5 15th on Thursday at Augusta National. They immediately duck when a stray darts over their heads, their reaction so sudden that Willett topples backward.
There’s a woman among 50 or so patrons to the right of the bunker. She takes both arms and covers her head as the rocket shoots her way. The ball caroms back, rolling just short of the sand.
And then there is Mackenzie Hughes. If you’re going to cold-shank one from 84 yards out, at Augusta National, during the first round of the Masters, do it with a smile. Here’s the sequence after Hughes’ third shot into the par-5:
He looks down.
He looks up.
He looks down.
He looks up. And 15 seconds after hitting the shot he lifts his left hand to growing cheers.
He then takes his left hand and doffs his cap to the gallery, takes a few steps and lifts his hat again before placing it back on his head.
Hughes wasn’t done, either. The golf site No Laying Up tweeted out a video of the skull — and a few hours after his one-over 73, Hughes commented twice.
“Man it looks bad on video, but it looked way worse coming off the club,” Hughes wrote. “Didn’t even have time to yell fore.”
After No Laying Up responded, “Dude. SUPER unlucky,” Hughes wrote:
“Yeah it easily could’ve kicked back on green. Tough break…”
The shank was bad. The response was not.