Golf fans are back at PGA Tour tournaments this year, albeit in limited numbers right now, and a lot of PGA Tour players are happy about it. For one, fans lining the ropes add an energy and excitement to proceedings that was sorely missed in 2020. They also can help pros avoid scorecard-tanking mistakes. Just ask Zach Johnson.
During the second round of the 2021 Honda Classic, Johnson used an assist from a fan — or, more accurately, a fan’s water bottle — to dodge a big, ugly number at a crucial point in the event.
Playing the par-4 8th hole at PGA National on Friday, Johnson hit a 291-yard tee shot that left him just short of a water hazard and in perfect position to attack the pin from about 140 yards. Spectators lined the backside of the green, and moments later Johnson would be grateful they were there.
The two-time major champion flushed his shot, airmailing the green and directly toward the fans watching from behind the putting surface. But instead of avoiding contact and lodging itself in deep rough, or plunking a fan and causing injury, Johnson’s ball nailed a water bottle held by a fan trying to take cover. The ball then ricocheted off the plastic and back onto the green, settling some 60 feet away.
Check out the unlikely bank shot below.
Thanks to the lucky bounce, Johnson was able to make a routine two-putt and save par, instead of having to contend with a treacherous up-and-down with water looming long. He finished the day at five under and T10 at the halfway point.