How a Masters pro mishit a shot and created an awkward patron reaction

Stewart Cink

Stewart Cink on the 12th hole on Thursday at Augusta National, along with Henrik Stenson's ball.

Countless times, at tournaments like this week’s Masters, a pro will swing, some noise or movement will snap the silence, and the player will catch themselves one-quarter, two-quarters and even three-quarters into the swing, somehow stop and reset. 

But can a fan (patron) pull it off? 

Can they suddenly stop putting left hand against right when the situation may flip from happy to horrible? Well … 

Henrik Stenson, during Thursday’s first round of the Masters, hit his tee shot on the 505-yard, par-4 11th at Augusta National 269 yards down the left-center of the fairway. He hit his second shot 212 yards but right — and right onto the adjacent tee box for the 155-yard, par-3 12th. Where Stewart Cink had just hit his tee shot.

Stenson’s ball bounced as Cink lowered his iron on his follow-through. Cink looked down at the errant ball as it rolled down a small embankment, then looked back up his tee shot, which would end up 10 feet from the hole. Cink, rightfully so, had chosen which ball he’d continue to follow — his own. But what about the patrons gathered around the 12th tee box? Would they cheer Cink’s shot, or stay silent after Stenson’s?

They stood by their man — which created a somewhat funny few seconds. 

As Stenson’s ball began to roll farther down and a little closer back to the 11th green, the fans began to golf-clap. 

Now, of course, maybe they didn’t see Stenson’s ball, but still, it did nearly poke Cink. Nevertheless, from there, Stenson couldn’t get up and down and bogeyed the hole on his way to a one-over 73, and Cink rolled in his birdie putt before signing for a 74. 

Both final scores, on a tough day at Augusta, were worth applauding.  

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Nick Piastowski Editor