WATCH: Zach Johnson drains incredible back-door putt on Winged Foot’s most treacherous green

Zach Johnson celebrates one incredible birdie.


The 1st green at Winged Foot is one of the most treacherous on the course, “a nice welcome to Winged Foot,” according to Gil Hanse, who restored the A.W. Tillinghast design a few years ago.

Hanse even told that one of the most important putts golfers would face this week would be their third on the par-4 1st green. He wasn’t joking (check out the video below). Three putts is no formality; it’s crucial to finish the 1st without taking a big number and ruining your round’s momentum before you even get started.

But Zach Johnson never got the memo about the 1st green being hard.

Johnson started the first round of the U.S. Open on the back nine on Thursday, and on the 1st hole, his 10th, he faced a 36-footer for birdie. But this was not your typical birdie putt.

“Well, good luck to you on this one,” said NBC analyst Paul Azinger, as Johnson started his stroke. “He’s gonna maybe have to go past the hole and have it come back down, and that’s just what he’s doing. Let’s see if he got it right.”

The result? Check it out below. The birdie got Johnson to even par on the day. He bogeyed 3 and 4 but birdied 5 and 6 to shoot an even-par 70 in the first round.

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Josh Berhow Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at