You have to feel good for Zach Johnson. He won his first major at The Masters, in a field that included all the big names in golf. He overcame ridiculous conditions and managed a two shot victory. He even dropped a Jesus-bomb after his round and teared up, then teared up again while kissing his newborn son. Then he dropped another Jesus-bomb in the Butler cabin whilst talking with Jim Nantz. Then he referred to himself in the third person during the interview before staring awkwardly into the camera. So yeah, BIG day for him, lots of unintentional comedy for us.
But let’s be honest, he didn’t win so much as he was the least bad. His final score of +1 is the highest winning score in over 50 years at The Masters and is tied for the highest ever. Until Sunday, he’d never finished higher than 15th in a major. He also missed the cut in the final three majors of 2006. The guy won The Masters and I don’t remember a single defining shot from his final round. Everyone else just played like crap.
Tiger Woods and Justin Rose made the end interesting (sort of), by coming within two shots of Johnson before both melted down on 17. Rose doubled the 17th, a disaster that included him hitting his second shot from the 15th fairway. Tiger hit a good tee shot on 17, but hit his second into the sand in front of the green. That all but ended his chances of bridging the two-shot gap between he and the Jesus-loving champ. He was still pissed as he walked off the 18th green, as he finished two shots behind Johnson.
So, the last four Masters champions are Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and…Zach Johnson? We’re going to go out on a limb here (and totally jinx the rest of the PGA Tour) and say that Johnson isn’t a threat to win the Grand Slam this year.
Sure, part of what makes golf great is that anyone can win on a given weekend, but this year’s Masters reminded us all of how good we had it when Phil and Tiger were dominating and weren’t getting the “deer in headlights” look during the jacket/trophy ceremonies. Did either of them thank Jesus multiple times or tear up? Of course not. It’s nice to see a guy like Johnson do all of that once in a while. But here’s hoping that we go back to the big guys winning the majors in 2007. It’s almost comforting when they wrap up a solid win, hug their kids (Mickelson) or hot wife (Tiger) and hot mom (kidding), give a cliche-soiled, boring interview, and move on. It’s nice that Zach Johnson won, but let’s not make crying over golf a habit.